TANZANIA – The Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) has in a bid to bolster the cash crop’s production in the country, released new high yielding disease resistant coffee varieties for commercial production.

The varieties include grade 4 Robusta Coffee, a high yielding large bean which is said to be resistant to Coffee Wilt Disease (CWD). Others are 19 Arabica hybrids which feature 15 tall resistant to Coffee Berry Borer (CBB).

Others are 4 compact resistant coffee bean varieties which are considered to offer good quality coffee and are also suitable for high density planting.

The move is part of the development of different coffee multiplication protocols at the Lyamungu based institution.

“Development of drought tolerant varieties is bent on addressing climate change issues and of course encourage more production of the cash crop in Tanzania,” explained Dr Damian Mtenga, a Manager at TaCRI’s Coffee Improvement Programme.

According to the breeder, such new varieties are intended to be used in areas that had previously grown coffee but abandoned it, due to unavailability of adequate rainfall and water for irrigation.

He also hinted that at least three new coffee varieties will be released in the near future.

“Tanzania is one of the few countries with the best coffee globally, nevertheless introduction of such new varieties results in consistently good, mild coffees, with a well-balanced acidity,” assured the coffee connoisseur.

Coffee consumption in the country accounts between 7 and 10 per cent of the total coffee produced in Tanzania. 90 per cent of the coffee comes from small scale farmers while the remaining 10 is sourced from large scale planters, reports Daily News.

Tanzania ranks fourth among coffee producing countries in Africa, ahead of Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, the DRC, Zambia, Malawi and Malawi.

The East African nation is however considered to be topping the continent in the production of Arabica coffee, a renowned coffee variety which is in high demand in the United States of America and Japan.

Incorporated in 2000, TaCRI’s major objective is to revivify the Tanzania coffee industry by placing new emphasis on the role of stakeholder-led and client demand-driven research for development.

The Institute provides a crucial public service to stakeholders in the country’s coffee industry by providing coffee producers with relevant and practical technological innovations and advice not only to improve productivity and quality, but also enhance profitability and livelihoods for coffee producers and increased competitiveness of Tanzanian coffee on the world market.

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