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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzania ruling party endorses President
Magufuli as party chairman until 2022

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s ruling party—Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) on Monday endorsed President John Magufuli as the party’s national chairman until 2022.

The CCM 9th Congress in the capital Dodoma also endorsed Zanzibar President Mohamed Shein as CCM vice-chairman for the Zanzibar archipelago and Philip Mangula as the party’s vice-chairman for Tanzania mainland.

The congress also retrained Abdulrahman Kinana as the party’s secretary general after a request by CCM national chairman President John Magufuli.

President Magufuli has requested Kinana to retain the leadership of the ruling party as secretary general during the party’s National Executive Committee congress in the capital Dodoma. Kinana who became the party’s secretary general in 2012 agreed to the request.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Tanzania coffee production expected to drop due to drought

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s coffee production is expected to go down in the next harvesting season, due to prolonged drought in the key producing areas, the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) said on Tuesday.

TCB acting Director General, Primus Kimaryo, said that total coffee production in 2016/2017 is at an average of 50,000 tonnes, “but things will be different in the 2017/2018, whereby it is expected to be at an average of only 43,000 tonnes.”

He cited prolonged drought in key coffee producing areas. The main growing regions in Tanzania include Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Tanga, Morogoro, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Iringa, Kigoma, and Kagera.

Coffee exports earned Tanzania 135 million U.S. dollars in foreign exchange during the 2015/2016 farming season.

Kimaryo, however, said: “We’re currently training farmers on ways of mitigating climate change so that they continue producing quality coffee beans despite weather changes.”

“We’re also looking on new markets for our coffee so that what farmers produce get market,” he said.

Tanzania is the fourth largest coffee producer in Africa behind Ethiopia, Uganda and Cote D’Ivoire.

Currently, most of the coffee from Tanzania is exported to Germany, Japan, Italy, Belgium and France.

Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Marry Mwanjelwa, viewed coffee as one of the country’s foreign exchange earner, though there are myriad challenges including weather changes as well as smuggling.

“I know we have some challenges of coffee smuggling through ‘direct coffee export’ but I appeal to TCB to ensure there are no coffee smuggling incidents anymore,” she said.

Coffee is one of Tanzanian’s primary agricultural export crops, representing about 5 percent of total exports, 24 percent of traditional cash crops.

More than 90 percent of Tanzanian coffee comes from smallholder farmers. The industry provides direct income to more than 450,000 farmer families and also benefits directly the livelihoods of about two million Tanzanians, about one third of the population.

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Tanzania to revive sisal processing plants

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is set to revive 10 sisal processing plants in five estates located in north-eastern Tanzania’s region of Tanga, according to Tanzania’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

Director General of NSSF, Godius Kahyarara said on Sunday that once revived, the plants will be able to produce a wide range of products such as bags, chairs, ropes, rest-chairs, carpets, fertilizers, and animal feeds.

“We have seen great opportunity in sisal farming and decided to grab it, and by doing that we will be supporting the country’s industrialization agenda as well as increasing employment opportunities,” he said.

According to Kahyarara, sisal has played a significant role in the country’s economy, as the country’s largest foreign exchange earner up to the 1970s and the largest employer as well.

The official said that they have decided to increase investment in sisal farming because of its socio-economic importance.

“Presently, even in a depressed state, the sisal industry is employing over 100,000 people in the country. Demand is still high locally and internationally, so more investments are still needed,” he added.

Kahyarara also noted that more investment in research, skills, technology to improve the sector are essential to avoid going back to what happened 60 years ago.

He also cited packaging as another key area that needs improvement calling for other organizations to invest in the area to enable small-scale farmers pack their products well to access foreign markets.

“Packaging is another area with huge investment opportunities, so people can grab this opportunity to push forward the country and achieve industrialization goals,” said Kahyarara.

           

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