Tanzania scraps coffee levies to boost production

Wednesday November 22 2017

Coffee samples from Kenya.

Coffee samples from Kenya. The Tanzanian government is scrapping taxes and levies imposed on coffee as part of measures to boost production. PHOTO FILE | NATION 

By APOLINARI TAIRO
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The Tanzanian government is scrapping taxes and levies imposed on coffee as part of measures to boost production.

The move follows complaints by farmers about multiple taxes imposed on coffee and other cash crops.
Minister for Agriculture Charles Tizeba said that the government will scrap 17 levies and taxes. They include coffee buying, processing and selling fee as well as the marketing fees.

Tanzania has been charging $1,000 for a licence to sell coffee abroad, $20 for a permit to purchase parchment dry cherry coffee and $250 for a coffee processing licence.

The country has put in place a 10-year development plan to raise the annual production of coffee. It is expected production will increase from 50,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes over the next four years.

Coffee accounts for about five per cent of Tanzania’s total exports and generates about $100 million per year, the Tanzania Coffee Board said.

The crop provides direct income to some 400,000 smallholders who produce 90 per cent of the country’s coffee. Tanzania is the fourth largest coffee-producing country in Africa after Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Uganda.