PASSPORT TO COFFEE EXPORT (PACE)
Passport to Coffee Export (PACE), will be implemented over 42 months and targets approximately 22,500 smallholder coffee farmers, with youth making up 52% and the rest women, in Mbeya, Songwe, and Ruvuma regions in Tanzania. The project supports 200 factory workers from 25 cooperatives, and 4 community processing and value addition centers to acquire technical skills and other best practices in order to enhance quality, reduce post-harvest waste and encourage regenerative agriculture and resource efficiency. In addition, 200 extension staff from relevant Ministries, local government authorities (LGA’s), TaCRI, and Envirocare will be trained to deliver innovative agricultural practices to farmers.
The overall objective is to promote sustainable and inclusive sector development through a robust export-oriented coffee value chain by 2023 through the following specific objectives:
Improving the export-oriented coffee sector
Increasing incomes through job creation
Enhancing food and nutrition security of smallholder coffee farmers; and
Enhancing sectoral value addition and marketing
On 23rd November 2020, Envirocare conducted a field study in project areas in order to familiarize with the locations, conduct meetings with Solidaridad field staff, project stakeholders, and beneficiaries. Local Government Authority, Agricultural Marketing, and Cooperatives Societies (AMCOS), Coffee processing industries, and small scale holder’s farmers are some of the project stakeholders and beneficiaries we met with.
Fig 1. Envirocare staff at GDM Company Ltd in Mbozi district in Mbeya region
1. The objective of the field study
The field study intended to achieve the following objectives;
To study the field locations in Mbinga, Mbozi, and Mbeya Rural.
To introduce ourselves to Solidaridad field staff, project stakeholders, and beneficiaries.
To search for a field office in project areas
2.1 Mbeya Region
2.1.1 Meeting with Project Manager for Solidaridad Mr. Elifadhili Daniel
On 24th November 2020, the second day of the visit we met with the Solidaridad Project Manager for Lot 3 Mr. Elifadhili Daniel. The aim of the meeting was to introduce our staff who will work for Envirocare in a Pace project and visit the field locations. In this meeting,
Mr. Elifadhili Daniel high-lightened the following activities which Solidaridad has started to work on.
Identification of AMCOS
Recruitment of lead farmers through identified AMCOS. A total of 600 lead farmers are targeted for recruitment.
Identification of demonstration farms/plots
Identification of coffee processing industries
Looking for field offices in Mbozi and Mbinga
Fig 2. Mr. Amos Mbwambo and Elifadhili Daniel; Project Managers for Envirocare and Solidaridad respectively during the meeting in Mbeya region.
2.2 Songwe Region
2.2.1 Meeting with District Agricultural Irrigation and Cooperative Officer (DAICO) for Mbozi District Council
On the third day of our trip, we managed to meet with Mr. Richard Sirili who is a District Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperative Officer (DAICO) for Mbozi district Council and the followings issues were raised
Briefing on coffee farming in Mbozi district: DAICO says coffee farming in Mbozi district is produced in 22 out of 28 wards, and more than 4,000 farmers have engaged in coffee farming. The production of coffee in the district depends much on the application of fertilizers i.e. industrial fertilizer or Manure from animal wastes. “No fertilizer, No Production”. Also, he says flowering occurs between October and November during the rainy season, and the market price for coffee depends on coffee auction during sales. The current price lies between 5000 – 6000 per Kg of coffee or 179USD per 50Kg of coffee.
In Mbozi district there are three industries for coffee processing. These are Gervas Dickson Mwangoka (GDM) industry, Coffee Management Service (CMS), and Mbozi Coffee Curing Company (MCCCO). The amount of coffee produced in the district is very low to feed the three industries as the production capacity of Mbozi district is 10,000 tonnes of coffee per year, while the processing capacity for MCCCO alone is 21,000 tonnes of coffee per year.
The maximum production of coffee in Tanzania was in 2014/2015 as we managed to produce 75,000 tonnes per year. Only 5-7 percent of the coffee produced is being consumed by Tanzanians.
Challenges facing coffee farming in Mbozi district include; Soil infertility, inadequate knowledge on GAP among farmers, low quality of coffee processed at home by farmers, no shading tree in most coffee farms, and duplication of the same activities between Solidaridad and VI agro-forest. Furthermore, gender is not highly considered as women's involvement in coffee farming is low.
2.2.2 Meeting with Cooperative Officer for Mbozi District Council
Envirocare staff managed to meet Ms. Asha who is a cooperative officer for Mbozi District Council. The aim of the meeting was to introduce ourselves to her and ask for cooperation in the implementation of a PACE project.
2.2.3 Meeting with Project Officer for Solidaridad Ms. Amina Msofe
Also, we managed to meet with project officer for Solidaridad Ms. Amina for familiarization. During our discussion, Amina says they have started some activities which includes; identification of demonstration farms, identification of field location, and AMCOS of which 8,500 coffee farmers are targeted.
Fig 3. Envirocare and Solidaridad staff meeting with DAICO for Mbozi district in Mbeya region
2.2.2 Visit to GDM Company Limited
Envirocare staff had the opportunity to visit Gervas Dickson Mwangoka (GDM) industry for learning purposes. The industry is owned by an entrepreneur & farmer called Gervas Dickson Mwangoka. Through the coffee business, Mr. Gervas has been able to own a coffee processing industry worth 7 billion shillings. The industry has three years of operations and it process, roasts and packs coffee. Market and customers of coffee is a challenge hence they are still looking for a reliable market.
We learned all stages in the coffee processing chain from reception, grading, roasting, to liquoring and packing. GDM has two machines for coffee processing. One has the capacity to process 8 tons of coffee per hour and another to process 2 tons per hour. In 2020 GDM Company produced 5,000 tons of coffee. The company has a nursery that produces 350,000 coffee seedlings per year.
2.3 Ruvuma Region
2.3.1 Meeting with Project Officers for Solidaridad (Gregory, Felix, and Simon)
On the fifth day of the field study, we met with the Solidaridad team at Solidaridad offices in Mbinga district for introduction and familiarization. The staff welcomed us and gives a brief explanation of what they did so far. They have worked towards the identification of farmers through AMCOS, identification of demonstration plots, and meeting with project stakeholders including the government.
2.3.2 Meeting with members of HAGATI AMCOS (Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives Societies for HAGATI)
On the sixth day of the field study, we met again with the Solidaridad team together with a cooperative officer for Mbinga district council Mr. Noel Ngairo, and thereafter we moved to HAGATI village to meet with members of HAGATI AMCOS. The HAGATI AMCOS is about 50km from Mbinga town.
While in HAGATI village, we met with leaders for HAGATI AMCOS who welcomed us very well. Meanwhile, we had a meeting with members/farmers of HAGATI AMCOS where we had an opportunity to introduce the team.
Solidaridad started to give a brief summary of the purpose of our arrival. Also, Envirocare Executive Director Ms. Loyce Lema was given a chance to introduce Envirocare staff and gave a brief summary of Envirocare’s works. Moreover, the Project Manager for Envirocare, Mr. Amos Mbwambo had an opportunity to explain to farmers Envirocare’s roles/activities in the project. He insisted on gender involvement in the project, full participation of farmers in the project, and project ownership during the whole lifetime of the project
Fig 4. Ms. Loyce Lema speaking with members of HAGATI AMCOS during the meeting in Mbinga district Ruvuma region
The farmers showed a positive response to the project introduction and promised to participate fully and inform other farmers of the information they heard. Gender balance was a challenge as demonstrated by a few numbers of women attended the meeting and also in leadership positions whereby the board members of HAGATI AMCOS are 100% men. The cooperative officer argued the male farmers to be accompanied by their wives during such meetings.
We also had an opportunity to visit the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for learning. CPU processes coffee brought by farmers to produce coffee parchments. The processes include; pulping on the same day of picking, washing, fermenting, drying, and packaging. Before sale, farmers grade their coffee according to established grades. This should be done on the farm after pulping. It was noted that most farmers process their coffee at home rather than in AMCOS which affect coffee quality mostly for export. This matter was discussed during the meeting. Farmers were insisted to process their coffee in CPU to avoid variations.
Fig 5. A Visit to Central Processing Unit (CPU) for HAGATI AMCOS
Also, we noticed inadequate drying tables for coffee which is a challenge in harvesting season. Moreover, we visited few coffee farms in the village and got some knowledge in the whole process of coffee farming including the rejuvenation of the old tree of coffee. Also we learnt on NGOLO farming methods practiced in steep areas to control erosion of soil in farms.
Fig 6. Mr. Amos Mbwambo speaking with members of HAGATI AMCOS during the meeting in Mbinga district Ruvuma region
3. Leason Learnt
Youth are willing to participate in coffee farming.
Coffee users in project areas are very few. Farmers use coffee from Kilimanjaro (Tancafe) instead of coffee produced in their localities.
Farmers have the interest to expand their farms.
Ngolo farming methods are practiced in steep areas to control erosion of soil in farms.