KCU urges farmers to double coffee output

KAGERA Cooperative Union (KCU 1990 Ltd) has urged farmers to increase coffee production to take advantage of the global demand which is forecast to rise sharply next year.

Weather forecast indicates that the world will face coffee shortages for an ‘unprecedented’ third year in a row due to lower-than-expected harvest from top grower Brazil.

The KCU 1990 Ltd Vice-Chairman, Mr Respicius John said coffee farmers in the region are encouraged to enhance coffee output to take advantage of the global shortage forecast for next year.

“The expected global coffee shortage should be taken as a unique opportunity for farmers in the region to boost their earnings. Kagera farmers produce robusta coffee which constitutes 60 per cent of the total coffee production in the country,” he said.

Mr John 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 KCU 1990 Ltd recently distributed over 600,000 clonal varieties to the farmers free of charge for the planting season.

The increase of coffee production in the region has positive impact on farmers’ livelihoods and the national economy.

He explained that during the 2022/23 crop season, KCU had planned to distribute over one million improved coffee seedlings to the farmers.

During the past three years coffee production in the region increased from 52,000 tonnes during 2018/19 to 78,300 metric tonnes during 2020/21 enabling the farmers to pocket about 96.4bn/-, he said.

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

He said 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.

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.

The clonal coffee yields three times more coffee and is resistant to the coffee wilt disease.

Related Articles

Back to top button