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Tanzania: TaCRI Releases New Coffee Varieties

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

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 verities 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.

Dr Mtenga also hinted that at least new three 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 whereas 90 per cent comes from small scale farmers while the remaining 10 is sourced from large scale planters.

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 most famous coffee variety which is in high demand in the United States of America and Japan.