Coffee harvest climbs to historical high

The country’s coffee harvest has reached an all-time high after climbing by over 20 per cent this season thanks to a new boost to push-up output.

The last time the country registered a higher coffee production of around 72,000 tonnes was in 2020/2021.

The historical production went up by over 20 per cent to 81,500 tonnes in 2022/23 from 66,605 tonnes produced in 2021/2022.

The Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) Director General, Mr Primus Kimaryo, told reporters over the weekend here that the production surpassed the 2022/2023 season target by 16 per cent. The target was to harvest 70,000 tonnes.

“The success is based on efforts to obtain new reliable coffee markets, a move which motivates coffee farmers.

“Those who had abandoned coffee cultivation have resumed farming as well as the new coffee farmers who continue to emerge in different areas of the country which are suitable for coffee cultivation,” he briefed reporters following the ending of the season.

In this season that ended recently, 37,909 tonnes equal to 46.5 per cent of the coffee beans harvested in the country were Arabica coffee and 43,589 tons were Robusta coffee.

Thus, the country raked in 231 million US dollars compared to 206.23 US dollars obtained in the previous 2021/2022 season.

Mr Kimaryo attributed the great achievements to the efforts made by the government in mobilising and promoting the cultivation of the coffee crop.

“These strategies included the distribution of free coffee seedlings to farmers whereby through TCB and other stakeholders including [Agricultural Marketing Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies] Amcos,” he said

TCB distributed a total of 9.3 million coffee seedlings to farmers in the just-ended season and set a goal of 11 million seedlings in the next season which starts in September.

“Another reason was that of delivering agricultural inputs to farmers’ early as well as paying farmers their dues on time; this has motivated farmers to continue expanding coffee cultivating areas,” he said.

Additionally, the target surpassing this season is translating to a good direction to achieve the country’s goal of producing 300,000 tonnes by the 2025/2026 season.

“There has been a gradual increase of coffee production in recent years, whereby a consistent increase was noted, except for a fall in 2021/2022 (66,605 tonnes),” he said adding in 2020/2021 a total of 72,000 tonnes were produced.

Close to 90 per cent of Tanzanian coffee is produced by some 450,000 small family operations on 265,000 hectares of land. The remaining 10.0 per cent of coffee is grown by larger producers, estates.

Tanzania’s main Arabica coffee production is concentrated in the

regions of Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mbeya, Songwe and Ruvuma, with smaller volumes produced in the regions of Tanga, Iringa, Morogoro, Kigoma, Manyara, Geita, Mwanza, Katavi, Njombe and Mara. Robusta coffee is mainly produced in Kagera Region.

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