Coffee prices go up in Tanzania

coffee britsinvade flickrThe increase in coffee prices has provided relief to farmers and the Tanzania Coffee Board is hopeful the country will reach target production of 80,000 tonnes this year. (Image source: BritsInvade/Flickr) The Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) has announced that the price of a 50kg bag of clean coffee has climbed from US$125 to US$240

Mara Farmers Cooperative Union (WAMACU) will settle up US$284mn and clear another debt of US$64mn that it secured from the National Microfinance Bank last year, according to reports.

"We are happy because we are going to repay a bank loan amounting to US$284mn that we got to buy coffee from farmers a few months ago," said Lucas Maasa, the chairman of coffee stakeholders in Mara Zone.

The increase in coffee price comes as a relief to more than 400,000 families who rely on the coffee sector.

Sheila Mdemu, programme manager for Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI), added that this increase will motivate farmers to step up coffee production as well.

TaCRI has also been supporting the introduction of new coffee varieties resistant to disease, with the aim of increasing yields in the country's major coffee growing zones like Mara.

Since January 2014, the price of coffee has been increasing with February clocking a significant price rise, according to Adolph Kumburu, director general of TCB.

The country is expected to produce nearly 67,000 tonnes of coffee this year, and TCB is optimistic that such prices will help Tanzania reach its target of producing 80,000 tonnes of the crop by 2016.

Tanzania is rated as Africa's fourth largest producer of coffee after Ethiopia, Uganda and Côte d'Ivoire.

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