In Tanzania agriculture plays an important role in society livelihood particularly in the rural areas where majority of the people 100% depends on agricultural production. So, it is a major tool in development and poverty reduction. However, left un-attended agriculture could also become a poverty trap when there is lack of investments in terms of rural infrastructure, technology, equipments and farm inputs.
Realizing this fact, the Tanzania Government came up with “KILIMO KWANZA” program in early 2009, which aimed to address those weaknesses in agriculture in collaboration with the private sector. KILIMO KWANZA as Tanzania’s Green Revolution to transform its agriculture into a modern and commercial sector.
So ‘KILIMO KWANZA’ manifesto had the following ten actionable pillars:
- Political will to push our agricultural transformation.
- Enhanced financing for agriculture.
- Institutional reorganization and management of agriculture.
- Paradigm shift to strategic agricultural production.
- Land availability for agriculture.
- Incentives to stimulate investments in agriculture.
- Industrialization for agricultural transformation.
- Science, technology and human resources to support agricultural transformation.
- Infrastructure Development to support agricultural transformation
- Mobilization of Tanzanians to support and participate in the implementation of KILIMO KWANZA.
COFFEE UNDER KILIMO KWANZA
Coffee accounts for about 23% of Tanzania’s foreign exchange earnings and has been the mainstay of the country’s agriculture-based economy since its introduction as a cash crop around 100 years ago. More than 400,000 farm families of an average 6 persons (about 2.4 million people) earn their livelihoods from growing coffee and about double that figure, 10% of the population (approximately 42 million) is indirectly benefiting from the coffee business. But coffee is among of the long stagnated industries under agricultural sector for last 15 years with average production in the range of 800,000 to 1,000,000 bags annually.
Under Kilimo Kwanza coffee has started to enjoy the following benefits:
- Release of new “coffee industry strategy 2010”. This document created in 2009, will guide the industry development for next 5 yrs, 2011-2016 with main thrusts on Increased coffee production and productivity by, emphasis on Coffee quality and standards, improved Business environment and regulatory framework and stronger marketing, promotion and Value addition
- Increase Capacity Building activities to disseminate knowledge on coffee best practices to farmers. Starting 2009, Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) has opened field offices in coffee growing regions (Kagera, Mara, Mbeya, Kigoma and Ruvuma) to facilitate this activity.
- Emphasis on the use of improved coffee varieties released by the TaCRI which are resistance against major diseases of coffee berry and leaf rust. Whereby about 20 million seedlings will be produced and distributed to growers every year.
- Land expansion for coffee farming in new growing regions. 6 new regions (Manyara, Tanga, Morogoro, Iringa, rukwa na Mwanza) have been approved for cultivation of coffee from 2010.
- Establish inputs supply and device financing systems. The government starting 2011 will issue subsidy to inputs of fertilizers and pesticides used in coffee farming.
- Increase capacity of cupping facilities in growing regions. TCB is finalizing arrangements to start installation of cupping labs in growing regions of Mbeya, Ruvuma and Kagera a project which will be undertaken in partnership with American organization, CQI.
- Create the necessary regulatory environment for PPP and improve transparency and governance in farmer organization leadership. TCB established 7 stakeholder zones in growing regions which already elected committees to manage coffee growing challenges at local levels.
- Continuous review of coffee regulations to improve conditions for doing business. New coffee regulations signed in 2010 has incorporated new conditions like contract of farming and annual stakeholder forums.
- Promote coffee in internal market for purpose of increase local coffee consumption. A major drive has been launched by TCB and stakeholders to train local operators in Barista and encourage establishment of coffee shops in major cities in the country. The new ultra modern “UNION CAFÉ” shop opened in Moshi November 2010 run by the giant cooperative in the country, KNCU. (Photo), Currently local consumption has increased to 5% from 2% in 2002.
- Improve market information dissemination to growers. TCB aim to improve access to market information for farmers and improve marketing structures. This is the key in ensuring that farmers have easier access to market for their produce. In 2010 TCB has established cell phones portal for indicative coffee prices.
- Tanzania ratified the international coffee agreement, ICA 2007 in September 2010.
- Tax incentives to agricultural sector. The government set trend in the last 2010/11 budget of granting special VAT relief and VAT exemptions in respect of various services in the agricultural sector will benefit coffee.
- Credit financing and the use of Warehouse Receipt System (WRS).
Farmers are now able to own their product until at higher value chain. This has enabled growers get out of middlemen claws. Financial institutions are now offering facilities for growers to hold up their commodity and sell at added value through the WRS financing system..
On the whole, coffee industry is set to improve as benefits of the drive under KILIMO KWANZA. A lot of ventures are under implementation and are expected to impact on the coffee development goals especially improving farmer incomes.