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July 21, 2011

Tanzanian coffee output may fall 20% in 2011-12

by Fred Ojambo

Coffee production in Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-largest producer, may fall 20 percent in the year through June 2012 after a drought stunted growth, the country’s Coffee Board said.

Output may decline to 45,000 metric tons from 56,247 tons in the 2010-11 season, Adolph Kumburu, the board’s director general, said today in an e-mailed report from Moshi, in northern Tanzania.

The East African country, which largely relies on rain for its agriculture, was hit by drought in the second half of 2010 and in the first six months of this year, according to the board.

The forecast crop decline comes after production recovered last year from 35,700 tons in 2009-10, the board says. Production in 2009-10 had slumped from 68,000 tons a year earlier after a previous drought affected all growing regions, according to the agency.

Tanzania, which consumes less than 3 percent of its annual output, reaps the crop from April through August, while its marketing season runs July to April or May.

The country is increasing planting in an effort to raise output to 100,000 tons by 2015, Kumburu said in February.

Tanzania grows both the robusta and arabica varieties in the western Kagera region, while the northern Kilimanjaro and southern regions mainly produce arabica. Arabica accounts for about 75 percent of output, with robusta making up the rest.

Tanzania trails Ethiopia, Uganda and the Ivory Coast among the continent’s coffee producers, according to the International Coffee Organization.


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