At the most recent coffee auction in Moshi, Tanzania, the average price of Tanzanian grown coffee rose: The cost of arabica went up by $2.23 per 50kg bag whilst the cost of robusta jumped up by $4.57 per bag.
During the auction, 21,154 bags of arabica were put forward for sale and a total of 20,331 were sold. However, this represents a slight decrease from the beginning of the month when 23,236 bags were offered.
Could coffee be an election winner? Edward Lowassa certainly hopes so as he’s put the Tanzanian coffee industry at the heart of some recent speeches as he meanders along the campaign trail.
Speaking at a recent rally in the Misenyi township, Lowassa, a pivotal figure in the Chadema and Coalition of People’s Constitution (UKAWA) pledged that he would revamp the entire sector and equip coffee farmers with better incentives moving forwards.
In relation to this story I was asked by a colleague “when somebody says smugglers, what do you think of?” My natural reaction – like many of yours I presume – was to associate smugglers with treasure, booze and drugs.
But, in Tanzania, coffee farmers, industry officials and government ministers are up in arms about a coffee smuggling operation that is seeing fresh beans transported into Uganda, denying the Tanzanian authorities – and many others to boot – lucrative export revenues.
The warm weather that Tanzania is currently experiencing could negatively affect the nation’s coffee harvest later this year, a South African university has determined.
Despite stating the obvious in their conclusion, the methodology that the research team from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, used was actually quite interesting.
One of the biggest food, beverage and confectionery conglomerates in the world, Mondelez International, is looking to help boost coffee production in some areas of Africa. Local media has estimated that it could potentially improve exports of some farmers and farmers by almost 50%, according to media reports.
The multinational company is the second biggest coffee selling company in the world and, thanks to its size, has a well-rounded buying strategy which includes purchases from African nations such as Tanzania, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.
We all need a little help from time to time and many of the hundreds of coffee farmers in Tanzania are in for a little support, thanks to the ESSAB Tanzania Limited’s recent programme.
As reported in All Africa, the company has managed to secure some land to grow coffee seedlings and the destination of about 100,000 new coffee variety seedlings is the villages in the Mara Region.
The plants are to be distributed to local farmers free of charge, as the general plan is to kickstart coffee production in the area.
We all need a plan, don’t we?
Research has shown that if we – whether we are talking about an individual or an organisation – have a goal which we are aiming for, there is more likelihood of success than randomly shooting in the dark.
And if that is the case, then it’s good news for Tanzania.
It seems that the latest strategies for Tanzanian coffee could unlock more revenue from the national industry.
As reported in All Africa recently, the current Development Strategy of the Tanzania Coffee Industry may boost income.
It was predicted, by the Director General of the Tanzania Coffee Board, that some 150 million US dollars would be made each year for a decade, as a result of revenue from coffee exports, if the new strategy is implemented.
There is good news from Tanzania – there have been plans afoot to increase the growth of their coffee industry and now those plans are bearing fruit, or to be more specific, coffee beans. The latest headlines reveal that Sengerema District has just entered the global market for the first time since independence. This district, from the Mwanza Region, has sold some 8 tonnes of coffee in keeping with the new strategy.
The world has a love of African coffee – is Tanzania going to work its way into our coffee-loving hearts along with other great blends, such as those from Kenya or Ethiopia?
The Tanzania Coffee Board certainly hopes so. Other districts in the country which have increased their output include Mbinga District, Mpanda District, Katavi District, Mbozi District and parts of the Kigoma Region.
The Mbinga District has been singled out for special attention as the area is successfully combatting agricultural problems to keep improving output. Disease struck and the effects were rather catastrophic. The problem affected the production of coffee so that recent figures were less than half the output of 2008/2009. However, the story has a happy ending – the various authorities including the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives and the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute, have pulled together to find solutions to combatting the disease. This co-operation and strategic planning has paid off and the region successfully increased its coffee output once more over the last year.
It is this approach which will pay dividends to the Tanzania coffee industry, if it is consistently applied throughout the country.
Students based at the Thayer School of Engineering in Dartmouth are putting their experience to good use in Tanzania where they are working to help better sanitation as well as energy technologies for local communities.
The current project being carried out by the student group, which is aptly referred to as the Humanitarian Engineering Leadership Projects (HELP), is one whereby the team are designing ‘rocket stoves’ in a village called Mwamgongo and gasification stoves in Kalinzi. The aim of both is to reach a healthier, more efficient cooking appliance, that local inhabitants will both accept and be keen to use.
Until now, such stoves have had issues with too much carbon monoxide emission, but the students’ design has cleverly considered these concerns and designed the units to best channel any potential emissions in the right direction and to overcome current anxieties among residents of the villages.
Using coffee husks as the fuel for the stoves, in the same way as previously, but less well rated models due to their smokiness, the team’s design started off with a metal cylinder with a hole both at the top and bottom, but also perforations along its entire length, so as to disperse the release of gas. Stabilising bars, bubbed ‘ugali handles,’ were also used to help the unit stand firm during the aggressive stoking required.
After a week of testing and winning the approval of discerning local women, the students’ final design was able to burn 1.5kg of husks for the best part of an hour per batch.