Adaptation to changes in the coffee value chain And the price of coffee among coffee producers in Two villages in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


African Study Monographs


Market liberalization in Tanzania has eroded the monopoly of the cooperative unions by allowing private coffee buyers (PCBs) to compete with them on equal footing. Similarly, farmers groups and primary societies are now allowed to sell coffee at auction. Thus, farmers have various options for selling their coffee. Similarly, the coffee industry has experienced large fluctuations in prices and stagnation in production. How do farmers react to these changes? Can and do farmers profit from different market conditions and sell to different traders at the lower end of the value chain, or do they remain with cooperatives or farmers groups? This study was conducted in Mruwia and Mshiri villages in Moshi Rural district. Whereas Mshiri village remains attached to the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU), Mruwia has detached from this organization and sells coffee independently. The sample (103) was randomly selected from the coffee farmers in the two villages. Data were collected through surveys, focus group discussions (FGDs), and socio-anthropological methods (participant-observation, biographies, and thematic interviews). Results indicate that the selection of whom to sell coffee depends largely on farmers’ dependence on coffee and prices, other benefits accrued, and whether the initial costs are covered by buyers. Additionally, most respondents did not sell coffee to PCBs. Thus, prices, the institutional infrastructure, and the structure of local communities were important when making decisions about how and with whom to trade.


Journal Article


Tanzania, Coffee, Liberalization, Cooperatives, KNCU, Diversification