ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania has embarked on research trials of a drought-tolerant coffee variety
that will be availed to farmers by 2020, an official of the country’s crop
research body said Thursday.
Kilambo, Chief Executive Director of the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI),
said the move is meant to boost coffee production in the East African nation.
“We came up
with the decision of developing new coffee variety after realizing that climate
change is threatening production of coffee in the country,” he said.
“What we want
is to increase production, without compromising the quality of coffee beans,”
the official, TaCRI is carrying out research trials in four regions of
Kilimanjaro, Mara, Kigoma, and Mbeya.
coffee production during the season in 2017/18 is expected to drop from 50,000
tonnes to 43,000 tonnes due to drought.
the country by Catholic missionaries in 1898, coffee is now Tanzania’s most
important export crop, generating an average of 100 U.S. million dollars per
year in export value over the last 30 years.
More than 90
percent of Tanzanian coffee comes from smallholder farmers. The crop provides
jobs for around 2.4 million people, or 9.3 percent of the country’s workforce.