Tanzania Initiates Coffee Development Program To Improve Varieties

NAIROBI, Dec 29, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) — The Tanzania Coffee Research Institute, or TaCRI, has started a coffee development program to discover varieties that are higher yielding and disease-resistant, the Daily New Newspaper reported Wednesday.

“It is a conventional approach of developing true coffee seeds and may require five to six breeding cycle, each of five to six years, that is 25 to 30 years,” the state-run daily quoted James Teri, TaCRI chief executive director, as saying.

Teri said the program, which is being implemented at TaCRI’s Lyamungo Sub-Station located in Hai District, Kilimanjaro Region, was at its first cycle and had been able to develop 10 crosses, the daily reported.

In neighboring Kenya, a new coffee variety, which is higher yielding and disease-resistant, was launched in September.

Tanzania aims to double its coffee output over the next 13 years to 120,000 metric tons, Coffee Board of Tanzania marketing director Primus Kimaryo told Dow Jones Newswires earlier this month.

Coffee production in the 2010-11 crop year, which runs May to April, is estimated at 65,000 tons, up from 55,000 tons the previous year, Kimaryo said.

In 2008-09, Tanzanian coffee output reached 67,000 tons, a record high mainly due to trees’ natural alternating crop cycle of a high season followed by a low season.

Tanzania produces both arabica and robusta varieties.

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-biggest coffee producer after Ethiopia, Uganda and Ivory Coast.

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