Tarime is one of the five districts of the Mara Region of Tanzania. It is bordered to the South by Lake Victoria and the Musoma Urban, Musoma Rural and Serengeti District Districts, to the North and East by Kenya and to the West by Kagera Region. The altitude range is 1400 - 1700m. Situated in the hill country to the North-West of the Serengeti National Park and just South of the border with Kenya, Tarime offers a well prepared sun dried Arabica coffee on soils which are some of the best in Tanzania for coffee production.
Arabica coffee, from the coffee Arabica shrub (indigenous only to Ethiopia), is the highest in quality. Tanzanian Arabicas are often used in blends to raise the quality of coffees from other origins. Mara region is renown for its natural Arabica Coffee.
Average production for the district is around 23.00 tons per year from about 50 hectares of land by 400 farmers in 15 villages.
Agricultural Practices in Tarime
Agricultural practices done by farmers in Tarime district is divided into two common farming habits. One is the cultivation of annual crops (which are Cassava, Maize, Millet, Sorghum) and the other is for perennial crops like coffee and banana. Second is the minority cattle keeping, where by currently very few farmers possess cattle. In general, land ownership is not a problem, which in turn has influenced most of the farmers to cultivate crops in separate fields; thus intercropping is not very much entertained.
Up to now; in most of coffee farms; it is very rare to meet farmers who do intercropping so as to increase the soil fertility. The rainfall system is bimodal in which there are two season of rainfall per year. In normal climatic conditions, rains start in September to January, then the proceeding season starts in March to June.
Thanks to bimodal rains, farmers can grow crops twice a year. In general farmers prefer to grow cash crops, which they sell profitably to Kenyan traders, due to good cash exchange rates. The result is that there can be a shortage of food crops. The common food crops used are Millet, Sorghum and Cassava, meanwhile banana also they sell to Musoma district, Mwanza region and other nearby surrounding areas.
Generally, the highlands places where Arabica Coffee is grown is fertile and less or no pests and disease attack Arabica Coffee, therefore farmers practices for the use of chemicals to spray in their farms is non-existent, thus Coffee grown in these areas can be already considered organic by default.
With a long-term vision to increase the size of the crop and promote sustainable agriculture for farmers in the region. Our supplier for these beans provides coffee seedlings free of cost to farmers.
As part of the suppliers organic scheme and to ensure good farming practices they regularly hold farmers meetings in villages, educating them on good farming practices. Pruning shears and pruning saws to all of the growers as part of the strategy to promote organic coffee farming in the region.
Over the years, the supplier has won several awards for its coffee, including 'best coffee quality award' in Hard Arabica presented by the Tanzania Coffee Board.