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TCB in ten-year drive to increase efficiency and income

21st November 2012
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Farmers check coffee fermentation at Bara Village, in Mbozi District, Mbeya Region. (file photo)

The Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) has started to develop its ten-year strategic plan aimed at increasing efficiency and income to government coffers, the management has said.

According to the TCB Director General, Adolp Kumburu, the government has set aside funds for the operation of the board during the 2012/13 financial year.

In a statement issued by the board, he said that part of the proceeds of the funds will be used to cover eligible payment under the contract for consultancy services to develop the action plan.
“We now invite eligible individual consultants to indicate their interests in providing the service which include developing strategic action plan for the yeas 2011-2021 for TCB,” the statement said.

It further said consultants will be selected in accordance with procedures set out in the Public Procurement Act No. 21 of 2004 and the Public Procurement (Selection and Employment of Consultants) regulations Government Notice No. 98 of 2005.

Kumburu was quoted by this paper recently as advising organic coffee farmers to raise production of the crop saying there are prospects for high prices in the world market.

The board will continue to assist organic coffee growers in the production, promotion and marketing the crop, he said.
“As a regulator, the board will make sure that production of organic coffee undertaken by individual farmers, organizations, estates and unions is increased, and hence contribute more to the country’s economy,” he said.

Apart from organic coffee, he said, the board plans to improve production of ‘normal’ coffee through various programmes.
Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-biggest coffee exporter, may produce 38 percent more beans in the 2010-11 marketing season running from July through June because of better weather, he said.

Robusta crop is cultivated in the northwestern Kagera Region, while the northeastern mountains of Kilimanjaro and the Southern Highlands predominantly produce Arabica, which accounts for 75 percent of total crop output.

“We are pursuing a strategy that will boost production to 80,000 tonnes by 2016 and then to 120,000 tonnes by 2020,” he said.
Tanzania started the coffee replanting programme in 2005 and has since planted 32 million seedlings, most of which are improved Arabica varieties, he said.

The East African second largest economy will boost distribution of Robusta trees “significantly” during the next five years after developing four varieties which are resistant to coffee wilting disease.

The disease is caused by a fungus that prevents water and nutrients travelling from the roots to other parts of the plant, causing wilting and eventually death.

Last month, the German based development and finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH said it was embarking on a big initiative called Coffee Partnership for Tanzania (CPT) launched in Dar es Salaam.

The CPT initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support Tanzanian smallholder coffee farmers is expected to change their livelihoods.

Experts say coffee could fetch Tanzania up to USD200m in foreign exchange annually, through implementation of comprehensive grassroots based intervention mapped out in the ten year national coffee development strategy.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN