Mviwambi Coffee farmers trained in business planning and marketing

30-03-2015 Mviwambi is an organization of 1340 Arabica coffee farmers organized in 47 groups, from the Mbinga District in South-West Tanzania. In Tanzania, almost all coffee is exported and sold via the coffee auction in Moshi. Over the past years Mviwambi showed a growth in members and in coffee collection; over 500 tons two years ago. Now Mviwambi is ready to professionalize its activities and aim at direct sale of its best coffee to foreign buyers. In order to achieve that Mviwambi needs to have a sound business plan and sufficient knowledge of the coffee quality market requirements.

A four days business plan and coffee marketing training was provided in March to Mviwambi by Agriterra and conducted by Mrs. Bertine Schieven from Flynth Accountants & Consultants, Mrs. Lisanne Oonk from KIT and Mr. Ibrahimu Harry Mwankanye, Agriterra’s Tanzanian Agribusiness Advisor.

The planning component of the training focused on the meaning and the content of a business plan. Besides the calculation of Mviwambi’s coffee collection and marketing activities, the participants also worked out the financial forecast for the production and sale of organic inputs locally produced by some of Mviwambi’s groups. In the marketing component of the training the farmers mapped the coffee value chain and practiced coffee grading and cupping in order to get familiar with buyers’ quality requirements.

Four days seems too short to address sufficiently all the factors involved in business planning and coffee marketing. But the Mviwambi farmers were very eager to learn and have absorbed as much as possible. With the business plan soon ready and the increased knowledge in marketing and quality, Mviwambi’s dream has become a few steps closer: “one day we will address price instability by increased coffee quality and direct sale to the international coffee market!”.

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