KILIMANJARO: DEPUTY Minister for Agriculture Mr David Silinde has directed the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) to develop a mechanism that will make coffee production and other related activities sustainable.
Mr Silinde gave remarks on Tuesday during the visits to TCB headquarters in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region.
“Coffee is a strategic crop that brings in a lot of foreign currency to the nation, so it is good to have a special strategic system which will ensure the production increases every year and the system should become sustainable,” he advised.
He added, “The awakening in coffee farming and trade in general has been very big in recent days, many people have started to engage in coffee production in various areas in the country, so the main thing here is to make sure that there is a source that will make production sustainable, TCB make sure you discuss this with other stakeholders when implementing your duties”.
Mr Silinde went on to say that the agricultural sector has received a lot of support from the government and this impetus will contribute significantly to the increase in the production of food in the country including coffee.
“President Samia Suluhu Hassan has developed a big passion in the agricultural sector, whereby she has come up with strategies that aim to increase food production, our responsibility here is to make sure we utilise that opportunity as far as the coffee production in the country is concerned,” he said.
In addition, Mr Silinde called on TCB to continue with strategies aimed at increasing local consumption of coffee to reduce dependence on the foreign market for the crop produced in the country.
He said many Tanzanians like to drink coffee but some have the misconception that this drink is a luxurious product that is only consumed by the rich.
“If you succeed in making awareness and increasing domestic consumption to reach at least 50 per cent of the coffee we produce, even if the foreign market fluctuates, it will not affect the national income and that of the farmers related to the production of the crop,” he said.
Earlier the TCB Director General Mr Primus Kimaryo said that the institution was continuing with strategies aimed at ensuring that the production of coffee crops increases in the country.
“These strategies include ensuring that there are more experts who will contribute to coffee production increases every year, this is part of the plans that aim to increase production and reach 300,000 tonnes of coffee produced in the country by the year 2025,” he said.
“TCB does not have coffee accreditation processes, so we have collaborated with the Moshi Cooperative University (MoCU) in establishing a Certificate of Coffee Quality and Trade educational programme to fill the void of experts in the coffee sector in the country,” he said.
He continued to say that, before the introduction of the programme, coffee stakeholders had to hire experts related to coffee issues from abroad.