COFFEE farmers in Kilimanjaro Region have earned a total of 286.4m/- after selling a total of 40,200 kilogrammes of organic coffee in 2018/19.
The farmers from Mwika- Kinyamvuo Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS) and Mamba- North AMCOS both in Moshi District, earned a total of 7,125/- for every kilogramme of organic coffee collected and sold abroad, mainly in Japan.
“This trend should encourage coffee farmers across the country to practice organic coffee farming as this always fetches competitive prices in the world market, said Mr Gabriel Ulomi, a farmer and Manager of Kilimanjaro New Cooperative Initiative Joint Venture Enterprises Limited,( G32 KNCI-JVE)."
He said the earnings were encouraging coffee farmers, saying more of them should adopt the agricultural practice. According to him, while convectional coffee prices ranged between 2,500/- 3,000/- per kilogramme organic coffee fetched 7,125/- per kilogramme.
Speaking to reporters, the chairman of the board of directors of G32 KNCI-JVE, Mr Mathias Akaro, said having realized the benefits of practicing organic coffee farming, they were planning to introduce it to other AMCOS members - Kindi, Lyamungo, Narumu and Urori, all in Moshi District.
Chairman of Mamba North AMCOS, Mr Hans Mangowi, said organic coffee farming gave farmers competitive prices in the world market while also reducing production costs as no fungicides or herbicides were applied.
"We started to practice organic coffee farming in 2017/18 and since then we have received competitive prices in the world market," he said.
On his part, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mwika Kinyamvuo AMCOS, Mr. Israel Shao, praised the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) for their good researches which had produced inventions of the new varieties of Arabica coffee seedlings now used in organic coffee farming.
Mr Shao further said seedlings produced higher yields per unit area, reduced production costs as they were resistant to Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) and Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR).
Reached on the phone to comment on the use of the new varieties of Arabica coffee seedlings, the TaCRI Chief Executive Director, Dr Deusdedit Kilambo said it was very appropriate to use the new varieties of Arabica coffee seedlings when practicing organic farming.
He said so far TaCRI had invented a total of 19 types of the new varieties of Arabica coffee seedlings.
He further said that out of the 19 new varieties of Arabica coffee seedlings three of them had proved to resist droughts arising from the effects of climate changes.
"These three types of the new varieties namely N39-3, N39-10 and TaCRI- 3F now on final stages of trials soon to be released to farmers for planting have proved to resist droughts according to several trials done in Rombo, Tarime, Buhingwa and Mbozi District."