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Lower Arabica Prices Hurting Tanzania Farmers

Diminishing coffee prices at auction in Tanzania are putting pressure on farmers, some of whom are reportedly abandoning farms to tend crops that have more short-term potential.

According to a recent report in the Tanzania Daily News, coffee prices at auction in Moshi have plummeted in the past two weeks, largely due diminished demand from the United States. As of Oct. 31, the overall average price for mild arabica was down $1.11 USD per 50 kilograms from the week before, according to the report.

The market volatility has caused the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) to try to introduce measures to increase local consumption. “These measures will mitigate market volatility positively, resulting in job creation”, TCB Director Adolph Kumburu told the paper.

The vast majority of Tanzanian coffee is grown by small farmers with little income. The country’s annual production typically breaks down to about 70 percent arabica and 30 percent robusta.

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