In the news...

September 10th, 2013

On 27-28 August, ten B4FA Media Fellows in Tanzania had the oppportunity to visit a fascinating social enterprise that focuses on coffee, a farmers’ coffee cooperative and lastly, scientists at TACRI who have developed varieties that resist diseases that affect coffee plants.

The first day was spent with the HRN Stiftung, a local social enterprise working in coffee. M&E Coordinator Britta Deutsch gave a presentation about the organization and their work in Tanzania. The fellows were fascinated, and the Project Manager Tadeus Moshiro explained the arabica coffee varieties, the production of seedlings and beans and various other aspects of the coffee business.

The HRN Stiftung is carrying out a development program, initiated by a group of European coffee dealing companies, working in a number of coffee producing countries worldwide with the aim to improve smallholder coffee production and the income from it.
In the Kilimanjaro and Arumeru regions 10,000 beneficiaries (small holder coffee farmers) are reached with extension and material support.

The content of their extension messages is:

• Good agricultural and post harvest practices

• Transparent and efficient farmer organizations

• Entrepreneurial conduct and access to support services (i.e. credit)

Through organizational development HRN Stiftung tries to enable producer organizations to sell quality coffee to the national auction system or even at times buys the crop as well.

farmer explains grafting method for seedling production for saleThe B4FA Fellows then met farmers at a rural cooperative in Kirua, where its chairman was giving his view on the development of the cooperative. The group then was led to the seedlings’ propagation garden and shade houses, were individual Board Members
chipped in and explained the whole process starting with the production of cuttings up to the harvest and the processing of the coffee beans.

After that a group of farmers was visited, who are supported by HRN Stiftung for income generation (with shade cloth, plastic bags for planting the new cuttings and other inputs for the production of seedlings for sale to fellow farmers).

To finish the program of the day, a newly built primary school in the area, funded by LAVAZZA, was visited, with whom HRN Stiftung is partnering. The team was hosted by TACRI, where Mr Magesa (Program Manager) and Mr Kilambo (Head Breeder) were giving a power point presentation, which was an overview of TACRI’s activities and achievements.Mr Kilambo explained and showed the most important coffee diseases, Coffee Berry Disease and Leaf Rust.

vertical shooters are cut off for pruning, rooting and planting (or grafting)He also explained TACRI’s achievement in developing 15 “tall” and 6 “dwarf” arabica coffee varieties, which are resistant to both diseases. TACRI also has developed 5 disease resistant varieties of Robusta coffee, all hybrids and released.

The visit to one contact farmer’s plot had been arranged for the team by TACRI, which was a convincing example. The small scale farmer has 2 acres under the new coffee varieties since 5 years and was showing his excitement about not having to spray pesticides anymore, just using his farm yard manure and harvesting much more (double) than before with the traditional
varieties.

The media fellows had lots of chances to interview the stakeholders met, as a group as well as individually, and were pleased with the selection of the program and highly interested in all information given about the sector.

Participants were:
Dorithy Ndetekela (East African)
Julieth Kulangwa (Mwananchi)
Lydia Mapunda (Ushindi FM, Mbeya)
Victor Karega (The Citizen)
Sam Kamalamo (Changamoto)
Saidi Mmanga (Changamoto)
Talib Ussi (Mwananchi)
Leon Bahati (Mwananchi)
Mohamed Mohamed (Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation)
Lucas Kulwa (Kyela FM Community Radio)
Claudia Fichtner (Project Coordinator Tanzania, B4FA)