Tanzania's "Coffee City" looks forward to expanding Chinese market
DAR ES SALAAM, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- On a coffee plantation at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Cleopatra Mambo was checking the growth of coffee trees in the scorching sun. The rainy season was later than usual this year, so she decided to increase irrigation to ensure the coffee crop.
"It takes two to three years for beans to go from planting to harvest, and any failure at any point in the process can affect the final yield," Mambo told Xinhua.
Mambo, 38, is the plantation's administrator and has worked there for 10 years. Since her parents worked on coffee plantations in the area, Mambo was familiar with the growing cycle and habits of coffee beans from an early age.
According to Mambo, Kilimanjaro is Tanzania's largest coffee-producing region, and its high altitude and fertile volcanic ash provide excellent conditions for growing beans, producing high-quality beans.
Moshi, a small city near Mount Kilimanjaro, is known as the "Coffee City" because of an integrated industry system for growing, processing and selling coffee beans.
In downtown Moshi, the Fine Coffee Competition was into the final. During the competition, judges scooped up the coffee in turn and rated its aroma, acidity, sweetness, balance and other factors.
The Moshi-based Tanzanian Coffee Board (TCB) has held the competition since last year, selecting the top 10 coffee varieties of each category and posting the scores and rankings online.
"We hold this competition to motivate the producers, exporters so that they can be proud to produce the best coffee," said Balam Hinyula, the competition's chief judge.
Statistics show that Tanzania produces about 70,000 tones of coffee beans a year, of which more than 90 percent are exported, making it the backbone industry of Tanzania.
At the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) being held in Shanghai, Tanzanian specialties such as coffee beans, cashews, spices and red wine are attracting many visitors.
"This is the first time the coffee beans have been exhibited, but the results have been so good that many people have asked us how to buy authentic Tanzanian coffee," said Wang Xiangyun, General Manager of Linghang Tanzania Company Limited, who is attending the exhibition in Shanghai.
According to Prismus Kimario, Director General of TCB, Tanzanian coffee was mainly exported to Europe and the United States, but in recent years, Chinese consumers have an increasing demand for coffee and have high requirements for coffee quality.
He introduced that Tanzanian coffee will enter Chinese e-commerce platforms to make it more easily available to Chinese consumers.
"China has 1.4 billion people and huge potential for the future. We are optimistic about the Chinese market," said Kimario.