TANGANYIKA Instant Coffee Company Plc (Tanica) has taken aggressive measures to expand markets, especially after introducing a new product of roasted and ground coffee.
Tanica General Manager Rodness Milton said measures included repacking the products, opening coffee bars and coffee shops in several towns and opening a new website.
“The steps also aim at increasing production, while reducing operational expenses,” she said.
The company also targets to increase its market share by exporting to North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and some African countries.
Meanwhile, Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC) Brig-Gen Marco Gaguti has appealed to Tanzanians to drink more coffee since only six per cent of the total production is consumed locally.
“It is sad that Tanzanians consume less than 6.0 per cent of the coffee we produce locally and export the rest,” the RC said recently during the launch of a coffee shop and bar owned by Tanica in Bukoba Municipal Council.
He said the trend should change to create more health and employment opportunities. In the next five years “we should target to increase domestic coffee consumption to at least 15 per cent.”
Brig-Gen Gaguti said in developed countries people aged between 80 and 100 years were using coffee and this had helped to improve their health.
“When people think of coffee, they usually think of its ability to provide an energy boost.
“However, according to some research, it can also offer some other important health benefits, such as a lower risk of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart failure,” he said.
According to the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB), domestic coffee consumption is growing at an average of between 1.5 and 2.0 per cent per year due to a coffee drinking culture, which is gradually taking root in urban and semi-urban areas.
The annual per capita coffee consumption in the country is 0.06kg and only 7 per cent of the country’s total coffee production is consumed domestically.
Worldwide, experts estimate that people consume about 2.25 billion cups of coffee per day.
Coffee accounts for about 5 per cent of Tanzania’s total exports by value and generates earnings averaging $100m per year. It provides direct income to about 400,000 smallholder farmers who produce 90 per cent of Tanzania’s coffee.
Strengthening cooperative unions is highly recommended to create profitable coffee marketing structures for smallholder farmers.