TANZANIA coffee production has almost doubled to four years high, thanks to good weather and high crop circle boom this season.
Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB), acting Director General Primus Kimaryo told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that the production boomed from 47,000 metric tonnes in 2 017 / 18 to 6 5 ,5 00 metric tonnes in 2 018 / 19 . He said coffee production was also pushed up by control instituted at cooperative society to keep data from primary unions.
“The production boom was propelled by natural phenomenal coupled by good weather in this region,” said Mr Kimaryo over the phone from Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region.
He said the production would have been higher if coffee farming was being undertaken by large commercial farmers. “Smallholder farmers contribute 9 0 per cent of coffee production of this land,” the acting DG said.
According to International Coffee Organisation (ICO) the coffee output elevated the country to number four from five for top producers in Africa. Tanzania pushed down Kenya to number five from four.
The first producer in the continent is Ethiopia with 45 0,000mt, followed by Uganda 29 4,000mt, then Cote d’Ivoire with 9 6 ,000mt.
The ICO data showed that in East African Community (EAC), Uganda leads the pack followed by Tanzania and Kenya with 51,000mt, Rwanda was in the fourth position with 16,5 00mt and Burundi 12,9 00mt in 2 018 / 19 season.
According to Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review of May exports of traditional crops declined to 5 3 3 .9 million US dollars from 1,140.3 million US dollars in the year ending last May.
“The decline was manifested in all traditional crops, except coffee and cotton,” BoT monthly report said. Reports showed that the highest production ever recorded in the country’s recent history was in 2013 when 71,3 19 tonnes were produced.
It is estimated that Tanzania has an estimated 25 0,000 hectares of land under coffee production, according to Cafe Africa.
In the 1970s and 1980s, coffee overtook sisal as the country’s ‘green gold’ and a leading export crop with annual production averaging 6 0,000 tonnes.