Authorities in southwestern Tanzania’s region of Rukwa is planning to re-introduce coffee farming in a move to create sustainable income for farmers who are currently relying on maize, the cereal crop whose price is unpredictable.

Joachim Wangabo, Rukwa Regional Commissioner, said Monday: “We have started encouraging farmers to start planting coffee as an alternative crop from maize.”

“We believe that this crop will transform people’s livelihoods in this area, which has all conditions that favor coffee production,” Wangabo said after inspecting a coffee farm in Kalambo District, Rukwa Region.

According to him, historically, almost all districts in the region were growing coffee, but due to poor investment, the crop disappeared with farmers focusing more on food crops.

He said that it was high time for the farmers to embark on producing the crop for them to improve living conditions.

He also urged agriculture experts to work on educating the farmers on proper ways of growing the crop for better results.

The Regional Commissioner said that Rukwa region has a good weather that also allows growing avocados but the challenge is low awareness among farmers.

He added that, as the country industrialization drive rallies more on the availability of raw materials, so farmers should grab the opportunity and invest their efforts in farms for their development.

“Farmers has a great role in the industrialization agenda. They are the ones who are supposed to increase production of both food and commercial crops to feed the industries that will be established,” he said.

John Sinkala, a farmer from Kalambo district, called upon authorities to train farmers on better farming methods to produce quality raw materials that will meet the demands of the industries.

“What is missed here is lack of skills and knowledge on how to beneficially grow the crop,” he said. Enditem



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