KCU to distribute computers, digital scales to farmers

KAGERA Cooperative Union (KCU 1990 Ltd) has finalised plans for buying computers and digital scales that will be distributed to farmers through their respective Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS).

KCU Chairman, Mr Ressy Mashulano explained that the efforts being taken, aimed at improving coffee production by motivating the farmers to ensure that they enjoy the fruits from their sweat.

“KCU has finalised plans for buying computers and digital scales that will be distributed to farmers through their respective AMCOS.  The efforts being taken aimed at improving coffee production and motivate the farmers to ensure that they enjoy the fruits from their sweat. The increase of coffee production in the region has positive impact on farmers’ livelihoods and the national economy,” he said.

He explained that organic coffee farmers in Kagera Region have been paid an increase of 715m/-, where a kilogramme of Organic Robusta was paid 4,700/- up from 4,400/-, while a kilogramme of Organic Arabica was paid 5,300/- up from 4,900/-.

KCU comprises 135 AMCOS, while 34 AMCOS in Bukoba DC, Missenyi and Muleba were registered under Organic coffee.

Farmers are encouraged to adhere to best crop husbandry practices by uprooting and destroying through burning, the affected coffee trees, farm cleanliness, mulching and timely use of inputs and fertilisers.

They should replace the old coffee trees in favour of the clonal coffee varieties which are resistant to coffee wilt disease (CWD), for increased yields and earn more money, he said.

Mr Mashulano said the government in collaboration with other stakeholders including Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB), Cooperative Unions, Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TACRI), Café Africa Tanzania and the private sector is implementing a five-year strategic plan aimed to increase coffee production from 78,000 metric tonnes to 300,000 metric tonnes by 2025.

The plan goes in hand with producing 20 million improved coffee seedlings each year.  He explained that the Kagera Cooperative Union (KCU 1990 Ltd), recently distributed over 600,000 clonal varieties to the farmers free of charge for the planting season.

In the 2022/2023 season, KCU had planned to distribute over one million improved coffee seedlings to the farmers, while during the past three years coffee production in the region increased from  52,000 tonnes during 2018/2019 to 78,300 metric tonnes during 2020/2021 enabling the farmers to pocket about 96.4bn/-, he said.

The clonal varieties were high yielding and resistant to the coffee berry disease. A well-managed coffee plant could produce up to two kilogrammes enabling a farmer to pocket at least 6,000/- per kilogramme. Clonal coffee yields three times more coffee and is resistant to the coffee wilt disease.

The word clonal means that the coffee plants have been multiplied asexually from a single parent plant or clone.  Kagera farmers produce robusta coffee which constitutes 50 per cent of the total coffee production in the country.

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