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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Coffee Production is Growing in Zambia

Production of Zambian coffee has grown by over 30 percent. Mubuyu Farms (MF) of Mazabuka is a good example. MF has this year harvested 8.2 million kilogrammes of cherry coffee from the 2004-2005 season, up from 5.4 million-kilogrammes harvested in the 2003-2004 season. A whopping 52 percent!

Senior coffee production manager Joe Likomwa attributed the increase to good management and the fact that the trees had now been growing for more than four years. After the dry processing of cherry in 2003/04 season, the farm managed to harvest 858,000 kilogrammes of the green beans. This year the farm was projected to harvest close to 1.4 to 1.5 million kilogrammes of green beans by the time the drying process is completed in mid December.

Mr Likomwa said during the harvest period, the farm recruited 2,600 casual employees compared to 1,700 people who were given casual employment during the 2003-04 seasons.

And Likomwa said out of all the harvested coffee beans last year, everything was exported except for 12,000 kg which was allocated to local consumption and to promote coffee drinking in Zambia.

‘‘The response from local consumption has so far been good and we will continue to make our munali coffee for local and export consumption,’’ said Mr Likomwa. Currently the market for Mubuyu farm is South African but the farm is looking for other prospects too.

Mubuyu farms is a privately owned coffee farm in Mazabuka, 70 kilometres south of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city. William Lublinkhof employs about 1,000 permanent employees on 500 hectares of irrigated land. He is alleviating poverty of the people of Zambia a country largely unspoiled by farming or development.

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