KAGERA Region has embarked on the implementation of a five-year plan to increase coffee production from 60,000 metric tonnes to 200,000 metric tonnes by 2025.
Acting Director-General of the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB), Prof Jamal Adam, revealed this during a coffee festival held at Kitengure Prison in Karagwe District on Friday.
"During the five-year period (2020-2025), the government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, including TACRI, Café Africa Tanzania, Cooperative Unions, Tanzania Prisons Service and the private sector, is keen on increasing coffee production in Kagera Region from 60,000 metric tonnes to 200,000 metric tonnes," he said.
He explained that TCB was assisting stakeholders in the distribution of improved robusta coffee seedlings, the construction of green houses and expertise.
Head of the Kitengure Prison in Karagwe District SSP Bundala Maharanata said under a 10-year plan the department aimed at producing at least 10 million improved robusta trees.
"Currently, we have at least 126,000 improved robusta coffee trees, which will later be distributed to farmers by next March. The programme has helped our staff to get knowledge in coffee management and raise their incomes," he said.
Kagera Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Prof Faustin Kamuzora, who was the guest of honour advised the prison authorities to aggressively participate in coffee production because they had enough labour and plenty of land.
Café Africa Tanzania Programme Manager Daniel Mwakalinga noted that by the end of this year, they aimed at producing at least 30,000 coffee trees.
"Robusta varieties are high yielding and resistant to the coffee berry disease. A well-managed robusta coffee plant could produce up to 2kg and enable a farmer to pocket at least 6,000/- per kilogramme, compared to the current 1,200/- per kg," he said.
The government is keen on promoting public private partnership (PPP), whereby a private-owned company - JJAD Kagera Farmers' (T) Ltd, based in Kyerwa District, had plans to produce 1.5 million improved robusta varieties by the end of this year.
JJAD Kagera Farmers (T) Ltd Company Manager, Aron Michael said under a five-year development plan (2020-2025) the company expected to produce at at least 1.5 million coffee seedlings in 2020, increasing to 18.5 million seedlings by 2025.
"This will increase the production of coffee to 456,250 metric tonnes," he said.