KILIMANJARO: ROMBO District in Kilimanjaro Region is planning to brand its coffee in a bid to add value to the crop and conquer the local and global markets.
The campaign inaugurated recently in Rombo will be implemented and supervised by the Rombo District’s agricultural department in collaboration with farmers and stakeholders including Café Africa.
Rombo Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) Prof Adolf Mkenda said when handing over 150,000 new varieties of coffee seedlings to the coffee farmers that the campaign also aimed at increasing the crop production in the district.
“Our neighbours here in Karatu District in Arusha have increased the value of their coffee and are getting up to 24,000/- per kilogramme compared to between 3,000/- and 4,000/- which we are getting,” Prof Mkenda, who is also, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, said.
The MP said to achieve the desired goal the relevant authorities in Rombo will continue to provide education to farmers on how to improve coffee production from the farm to the market to further expand the trade of coffee in general.
During the event, Prof Mkenda commended the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) and Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) for their cooperation that made it possible to obtain the seedlings that are catalysts for the district plans to up coffee production.
Rombo aims to increase coffee production from the current 2,000 to 4,000 tonnes in the next two years.
The TCB Acting Director General Mr Kajiru Kisenge, said that the seedlings will be distributed free of charge to the farmers to enhance coffee production.
“This plan is also part of increasing the production of 100 million coffee seedlings throughout the country by 2025,” Mr Kisenge said.
TCB in collaboration with TaCRI and other stakeholders started to offer free coffee seedlings in 2020.
Rombo’s Agriculture Officer Mr Emmanuel Sindiyo said they have embarked on a programme aimed at providing education to coffee farmers on the importance of conducting soil fertility evaluation in their coffee fields to boost production and better the quality.
“The district has four new extension officers and will be a catalyst in implementing the programme,” he said.