Relief as Kagera coffee farmers get attractive prices

KAGERA: COFFEE farmers in Kagera Region have every reason to smile, this is because for the first time a kilogramme of Robusta was bought for over 5,000/- in an auction conducted on June 18, this year.

Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) Kagera Regional Manager, Mr Edmond Zani explained that the government mission was to ensure good market for coffee, a move that aims at curbing crop smuggling.

“The coffee business is now through auctioning. The selling of coffee directly from the farms has been banned. Coffee regulations in Tanzania are undergoing major changes which are intended to improve profits for farmers and extend their role in the supply chain,” he said.

According to Mr Zani, Robusta coffee fetched higher prices compared to Arabica coffee due to the increasing demand on the global market.

During the recent auction held on June 18 this year, Ruhoko AMCOS in Bukoba DC sold a total of 71,369 kgs of Robusta coffee where a kilogramme went for 5,233/-.

Kafunjo AMCOS in Karagwe sold a total of 93,378/- where a kilogramme fetched 5,230/- while Kamahungu AMCOS in Karagwe DC sold a total of 4,621 kilogrammes with a kilogramme going for 5,310/-.

Ngara Farmers AMCOS, on the other hand, sold a total of 9,083 kilogrammes of Arabica Certified where a kilogramme went for 4,570/-.

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Meanwhile, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, David Silinde said the government is doing everything in its power to look for investors who will be able to set up a processing factory for value addition.

According to Mr Silinde, the factories will help growers to get better prices for their produces. He said the government has also instructed coffee growers and cooperatives to sell the coffee through official auctioneers, expressing its commitment to stop smuggling.

“Tanzania Coffee Board is the official auctioneer and growers are required to sell their produce only through farmers’ co-operatives. The selling of coffee directly from farms has been banned,” he said.

Thus, he said, coffee farmers and co-operatives in the country have started selling their produce only through the annual coffee auctions and in return benefit from the growing global coffee markets and stop the rampant coffee smuggling to neighbouring countries by individual growers.

He added: “The government has banned the purchase of cherry or parchment at the farm-gate level. Farmers must now sell cherry or parchment to an Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (AMCOS), which will deliver the coffees to auction for purchase. Coffees, then, will be traceable to the AMCOS,”.

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