Coffee farmers in Kilimanjaro to undergo free cancer screening

15Jan 2020
James Lanka
The Guardian
Coffee farmers in Kilimanjaro to undergo free cancer screening

ORGANIC coffee growers in rural areas of Kilimanjaro region are set to undergo free cervical and breast cancer screening in a move aimed at eradicating the common terminal diseases in the area.

Briefing reporters here yesterday, General Manager for the farmers’ umbrella body, 32-Kilimanjaro New Co-operative Initiatives Joint venture Limited (G-32 KNCI-JVE LTD) Gabriel Ollomi said the screening is scheduled to take place during the nearing 2019/2020 harvesting season.

"The cancer screening will be implemented by the national NGO providing sexual and reproductive health (UMATI) in Kilimanjaro region in collaboration with G-32 KNCI-JVE LTD. The crucial health exercise is fully financed by our organic coffee buyers from Japan, Zensho Group Limited," the GM explained.

He added that the clinic targets only women from organic coffee farmers from rural areas of Kilimanjaro region and is meant to achieve sustainable health of small organic coffee producers.

"Apart from eliminating the two cancers among farmers, the initiative lso aims at eradication of poverty   within their communities" Ollomi explained.

According to him, in the 2018/19 organic coffee harvesting year G-32 KNCI-JVE LTD conducted special health training to their coffee farmers for sustainable health and coffee production.

The manager further appealed to coffee growers to practice organic coffee farming for sustainable high quality of coffee production for the good health of consumers. 

Ollomi explained that some members of his organization are now enjoying the fruits of organic farming-an agricultural system that uses-ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers derived largely from animal and plant wastes and nitrogen-fixing cover crops.

"In the year 2018/19 we engaged with our farmers in the organic coffee market where farmers benefited with high coffee price by emphasizing farmers to switch themselves to organic farming that has led them to a happy life that guarantees them food on table, cash to take care of their children and send them to school," he explained.

According to Ollomi, organic coffees world market is expanding day to day, appealing Kilimanjaro coffee producers to switch themselves to organic farming.

"Apart from high demand of organic coffees in the World market, its production is also very low as farmers are not buying industrial fertilizers in their production, thus they are using only ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers derived largely from animal and plant wastes and nitrogen-fixing cover crops.

"In the 2018/19 coffee season we bought a total of40.2 tons of parchment coffee at a price of 7,125/- per kilogram from small farmers of Mwika Kinyamvuo and Mamba North Agricultural Marketing Co-operatives (AMCOS)..." the G-32 KNCI-JVE LTD General manager enlightened.

Ollomi awho is also a coffee producer at Lyamungo village, in Hai district, Kilimanjaro region further explained that, producing coffee through organic farming is cheaper than using industrial fertilizers and other agriculture inputs like coffee pest controls which are sold at high prices; and the World market for organic coffee is expanding day to day and of high prices.

Commenting on the Organic Coffee farming, one of the small coffee producer who switched from inorganic farming to organic farming mzee Hansi Mangowi explained that, "The positive impact of using such industrial chemicals in growing coffee was just a big quantity of harvest but poor quality on the market. On the negative side, conventional agriculture destroyed soil fertility that forced me to change places of cultivating other food crops like banana, beans, maize within the same farm after every three years just looking for fertile land...".

He added that, he has an experience of more than 13 years in the organic coffee farming and he is enjoying the fruits of getting good marketing and high prices of his commodity.

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