‘Govt to invest more in coffee seedlings, farmer empowerment’

17Apr 2021
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
‘Govt to invest more in coffee seedlings, farmer empowerment’

THE government has promised to continue investing heavily in the coffee crop by facilitating production of quality seedlings as well as capacitate farmers with skills and tools so as to improve production and income.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Bashe

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Bashe made the statement in the House yesterday while responding to a question by Anatropia Theones (Special Seats, Chadema).

He said that the government is determined to transform the sector to enable it to contribute more to the country’s economy by fighting poverty and unemployment.

Bashe said that the government will also invest in promoting use of quality seeds, processing plants so as to facilitate production of quality coffee to cater for the local and international market.

In her basic question the lawmaker wanted to know the government’s plans to change the current coffee procurement system so as to ensure that farmers benefit from the crop.

“It is better now to allow farmers to sell coffee on their own instead of selling them through cooperative unions which have been delaying their payments and thus affects their farming and incomes,” she said.

Responding, the deputy minister said that the government has been taking several measures to ensure that farmers benefit from this crop which includes linking them to buyers who purchase their crops at a fair price as well as educating them on proper farming practices.

The minister acknowledged that in order to build a competitive and sustainable coffee sector, it is crucial to increase the value chain efficiency through optimization of the internal marketing system and improvement of the overall business environment

He said that due to the strides taken by the government and stakeholders to improve the sector, coffee production has continued to improve every year.

Bashe said that production of coffee rose to 67,676 by March, this year from 59,000 tonnes in the 2019/20 farming season.

“Kagera Region has produced 39,667 tonnes (58.8 per cent) of all produced coffee in the 2020/21 season including the 19,572.8 tonnes produces in Kyerwa District,” he said.

He said that the government has been supervising sale of the coffee in three systems which includes auctions and direct sale where farmers collect their coffee to the cooperative unions.

“Through this systems a total of 67,676 tonnes of coffee had been sold until March 2021 of which 20,296 tonnes of coffee worth US$53.5 million sold through auction and 47,108 tonnes worth US$79.2 million were sold through direct sale,” he explained,

The deputy minister said that major buyers of Tanzanian coffee were coming from Japan, Italy, Belgium, Germany and the United States (US).

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