BY MUTAYOBA ARBOGAST, BUKOBA

KAGERA Cooperative Union(KCU), a voluntary association of 125 Primary societies, representing over 60,000 coffee farmers, has shown its discontent that there are almost 38 multiple charges which befall on the same crop and thus denying a farmer good payments.

The discontent was revealed by KCU Board members during a three-day training tour in Kilimanjaro, Tanga and Dar es Salaam regions.

KCU vice-chairperson, Respicius John said, being a new board, they have to learn how other counterparts do such business and more importantly, how can those charges be lowered so as to enable farmers to get good payments for their coffee.

TCB Export Manager Diana Fatukubonya, (second left in a black dress) in a group photo with KCU board members. The scene taken this week in Dar es Salaam. (Photo: Our Photographer)

“In Tanga, we met Tanzania Coffee Board export manager and learn the whole process of exporting the crop outside of the country and realise that there are many charges and levies which hurt farmers,” said Respicius, citing the high charges by TCB warehouses and at clearing and forwarding.

“Getting a radiation certificate which certifies the product from radioactivity, it costs 0.2 pc of the total loading per invoice, which grabs away 300,000/- to 600,000/- and leaves farmers in agony,” said Respicius, appealing to the government through the Ministry of agriculture and Tanzania Coffee Board to find the solution on how they can lower the charges and levies from the very grassroots.

Anath Abdallah, a board member said that the charges are taken by the government weaken the farmer because the other levies have to be paid in District Councils, while another member Dr Bandihai Tefurukwa suggests the formation of a coffee policy that will promote the crop efficiently.

Diana Fatukubonya, Tanzania Coffee Board’s branch export manager said they had received KCU team which has an opportunity of visiting various locations and having harmonious dialogue, agreeing to have another session next year on how to lower the charges we are concerned with.

In promoting coffee KCU has also focused on increasing the production whereby, it has given out to farmers,354,894 disease-resistant seedlings, equivalent to 46 pc of the demand and the exercise is still going on.

Also is scheduled to visit neighbouring country Uganda, which is said to do a commendable job to raise coffee farmers standards, attracting coffee smugglers to carry our coffee there.

In the 2020/2021 coffee season, KCU collected 20,000 tonnes of both Robusta and Arabica.

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