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KNCU exports over 720 tonnes of coffee to Mideast

5th December 2012
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Farmers sort coffee in Kilimanjaro Region. The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union has secured a big market in the Middle East. (File photo)

The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) has exported a total of 720,000 kgs of coffee which is equivalent to 36 percent of the total produce collected, the management has said.

This was said here at the weekend by the KNCU chairman Maynard Swai when briefing the Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Christopher Chiza, during his visit to the Union offices where he had talks with board and management members.

He said KNCU collected an average of 2 million kgs of coffee at an auction in Moshi recently whereby 36 percent was exported through its procurement unit.

“We have acquired a new coffee market in Dubai, and we have started exporting and registered big achievements,” he stated.

The Union has various income generating projects, currnelty, including hotels and expect to open another branch in Dar es Salaam so as to increase the number of coffee drinkers from the present 3 percent, he said.

Other projects are a paddy milling plant which is not running effectively due to oldness and lack of spare parts. At the moment the milling capacity has dropped from 360 bags per day to 220 bags.

Swai said another project is organic coffee farming, which encourages the use of non industrial chemicals.

He mentioned other projects as coffee improvement programme where they have been educating farmers on the best ways to produce the crop in order to get good prices. A total of 29 extension officers have been employed.

He noted other project include coffee seedlings, and a nursery plant with 75,000 seedlings being distributed to farmers since 2008.

Tourism, coffee roast and drinking and health insurance where by farmers access treatment in improved hospitals are also some of the projects being run by the union.

For his part, Minister Chiza, congratulated the union for running various projects which are in support of the coffee farmers.

He said the health insurance would enable farmers to get treatment and improve their health and income.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN