Coffee is a popular brewed drink with a huge number of consumers across the world. It unquestioningly seconds water in having a consumer base and is the leading product in terms of sales behind petrol.
In Tanzania, coffee is one among the government’s strategic crops, whereby deliberate efforts are forged to upscale its output to boost the country’s GDP through exports.
With that being the utmost case, the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) develops strategies for producing and planting productive hybrid coffee seedlings for farmers.
TaCRI also caters for significant services to the coffee sector key players in the country by providing them with an appropriate and viable research findings so as to increase productivity and the quality of coffee.
The expectation of dissemination of research findings is to increase the profitability, make the lives of coffee growers much better and amplify coffee competition in the domestic and overseas market.
The institute operates in 16 regions in Tanzania Mainland including Kagera, Mwanza, Geita, Kigoma, Katavi, Rukwa, Songwe, Mbeya, Njombe, Iringa, Ruvuma, Morogoro, Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Manyara and Mara.In an effort to facilitate the dissemination of research findings, TaCRI uses existing small centres; Sirari-Tarime which serves Mara, Mwanza and Geita regions, Maruku-Bukoba (Kagera), Mwayaya-Buhigwe (Kigoma and Katavi), Mbimba-Mbo-zi District Songwe, (Mbeya and Iringa), Ugano-Mbinga (Ruvuma, Njombe and Iringa), Lyamungu-Hai (Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara, Tanga and Morogoro).
TaCRISirari began officially its operations in 2007, serving Mara Region across its districts of Tarime, Rorya, Serengeti, Butiama, Bunda and Musoma.
In 2019, the centre was assigned more roles of serving the regions of Mwanza and Geita.In this regard, we will only focus on the achievements gained by Mara Region in this article.
Distribution of new hybrids of Arabica
The TaCRISirari centre has gone from producing the 19 new hybrids of Arabica to producing and distributing a total of 2,938,470 quality coffee seedlings in the districts of Bunda, Serengeti, Butiama, Rorya and Tarime.
The seedlings were produced from 22 gardens of groups of farmers and one garden of Tarime District.
Training on best coffee farming practices
The centre managed to conduct training on best coffee farming practices through various approaches such as radio and TV training programmes and the dissemination of brochures containing different research findings. The training was offered to 44,718 farmers, 92 extension officers and 15 facilitators. How training and new coffee hybrids contributed to improving the lives of individual farmers. From 2007 TaCRISirari has managed to help contribute to transforming the individual economies of 210 pilot farmers, whose lives have taken a swift turn from poor to middle-income statuses. Some of these farmers, who live in Tarime District are Boke Sagamo of Gwitiryo, Petro Bururyo of Nyarero, Burure of Nyabitocho, Mwita Marko of Nyanti-ra, Elias Juma of Nyansincha, Roche Mwita of Gamasara and RosweMaganda of Nyamwaga.
Increased productivity in Mara Region
The distribution of new quality hybrid coffee varieties has had a positive impact not only on individual farmers but also on Mara Region as a whole as shown by the diagram.
Production has been rising year after year, although in some years it has been declining due to various factors including climate change.
Despite reference distribution training such as bro-chures, a total of 28,789 brochures and textbooks on the best practices of Arabica coffee farming have helped provide education on coffee care. Brochures and books have been prepared by TaCRI researchers.
The aim is to ensure that the research findings are shared by various stakeholders including the Mara Regional administration, all the five districts, district commissioners and council directors, Tanzania Coffee Board, WakulimaMara Cooperative Union (Wamacu), Tanzania Agri-culture Development Bank (TADB), Jeshi la Kujenga Tai-fa (JKT) Ng’ereng’ere and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Wamacu has partnered with TaCRI to build nine blocks to produce 2,000,000 quality coffee seedlings in two years, and the Tanzania Coffee Board has a joint plan to produce 1,000,000 seedlings.
Mara Region has also planned to set up large farms, whereby it has now enabled JKT Ng’ereng’ere to get 52,000 seedlings and set up a 52 acre farm while Kitenga nuns were given 40,000 seedlings for a 40 acre farm. If all these farms are well kept, a total of 138,750kgs would be projected to be produced, which is equivalent to 139 tons worth Sh555 million.
The region is currently producing 2,000 tons, but aims to add 10,000 tons more by 2023/24. To achieve this goal, a total of 5,000,000 seedlings of the best varieties of coffee need to be produced, nurtured and managed well so that yields are obtained after two years.
If the present stakeholders are well-organized to a marked extent, they can absolutely manage the expertise of producing quality seedlings and provide training to regional and district authorities in management, councils in management and extension services, coffee board in reinforcing markets and potential indicative prices, and the Ministry of Agriculture in policy management.
With the fact that Wamacu owns the farmers, they are urged to instruct agricultural marketing cooperative societies (AMCOS)’s councils to manage planting and caring for seedlings on farms.
Finally, we congratulate Mara Regional Commissioner Adam Malima for his efforts to ensure that, all coffee grow-ers use research results from TaCRI.
The TaCRI staff atSirariTarime are; AlmasiHamadi-Zonal Programme Manager, Ms. GenerosaTabaruka - Assistant Research Officer, Robson Mushi-driver and Ms. RudiaMagati-Office Supervisor.
For more information TaCRI:
Zonal Programme Manager,
Phone; 0744 252402,
Tel: +255 27 272923717, +255 27 272923718,