Tanzania Reduces Coffee Production Forecast 18% This Season

Tanzania cut its coffee production forecast for the 2011-12 season 18 percent after a drought reduced yields, the Tanzania Coffee Board said.

Production for this marketing season, which started on July 1 and ends on June 30, may fall to 37,000 metric tons from an earlier forecast of 45,000 tons, Adolph Kumburu, the board’s director general, said by phone today from Moshi, northern Tanzania. The revised forecast is 34 percent lower than 56,247 tons produced in the 2010-11 season, according to the board.

“We have revised our forecast because we realized less than our anticipated output by the end of December,” he said. “The Northern region and Kagera in the northwest were affected by a drought last year.”

East Africa was hit by the worst regional drought in six decades last year, cutting farm production.

Harvesting for the season closed in most growing areas except the high-altitude northern zone, and in the Mbinga and Mbeya areas in the south, he said.

Tanzania, which consumes less than 3 percent of its annual output, according to the Eastern African Fine Coffee Association, reaps the crop from April through August, while its marketing season runs July through June while sales normally close in April or May.

The nation grows both the robusta and arabica varieties in the western Kagera region, while the northern Kilimanjaro and southern regions mainly produce arabica.

Arabica accounts for about 75 percent of output, with robusta making up the rest.

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