Population growth is among issues that have contributed to the decrease of coffee production in the northern zone of Tanzania. Coffee production decreased from 6 706 tons in 2014/15 to 5 882 in 2018/19 due to various reasons.
Revamping coffee production
Member of Parliament Shally Raymond wanted to know what the government was doing to revamp the production of the crop, as the drop in production has had a negative impact on the lives of the people in northern regions.
In response, the Ministry of Agriculture said the drop in production was due to various reasons including a decrease in land for cultivation – farmers are turning coffee farms into residential areas and are shifting to other types of farming such as horticulture and fruit production.
Reduced drought and irrigation activities
The ministry further said the drop was also due to changes in rainfall patterns, which led to drought, as well as a reduction in irrigation activities, which were the pillar of coffee production in the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.
This has also led to the weakening of the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU), which was very influential in sensitising farmers in terms of coffee production.
Training initiatives that will lower production costs
The ministry said the government has instituted various initiatives, including reviving the KNCU so that it continues to offer services to farmers as it has done in the past.
“In implementing this, the government has also taken serious actions against those who embezzled funds and contributed to the fall of the KNCU,” said the ministry.
Other initiatives according to the ministry include working together with the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) to offer training to extension officers at ward level, as well as providing training in improved nursery tree development, which can reduce production costs with up to 50%. – All Africa