A coffee farmer at his nursery
PRESIDENT Akufo-Addo has revealed he is enthusiastic about the improvement that the Ghanaian coffee sector is witnessing.
Speaking at the 60th General Assembly of the Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO) held virtually on November 17, 2020, he said Ghana’s coffee sector was responding to the market conditions; adding, “Ghana is processing and consuming more than 90% of its coffee production annually.”
To support the coffee sector, he said government introduced the coffee development programme led by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD). The project has led to the doubling of output to above 12,000 tonnes per annum, with yields of about 1.4 tonnes per hectare.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “To consolidate the gains and propel the coffee sector to a similar status as cocoa in Ghana, COCOBOD is in the process of creating a division to intensify support to the coffee sector through research, extension support and regulation of marketing and processing activities.”
“The Ghanaian coffee industry, like many others in Africa, is undergoing a revolution. A revolution underlined by the desire to transition from colonial legacy to African autonomy,” he noted.
African producers have continued to target Europe and North America as the key market for export of coffee beans, and by such arrangement, the President said “the fortunes of our hardworking producers are tied to a volatile market, underpinned by the economic conditions of those economies.”
“One of the valuable lessons from this pandemic is the domestication of critical commodity value chains. Increasing continental consumption and raising the level of domestic value addition of these commodities is long overdue. The slow pace of industrialization is not marching up to the needs of the young and vibrant African population,” the President added.
“This situation has resulted in huge imports of finished products from other parts of the world and the African market is rightly sending signals for the necessary investments in value addition of cash crops, particularly coffee.”
Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, in his welcome remarks, said prospects were high for the Ghanaian coffee sector.
He said, “Once a thriving coffee producer, Ghana’s coffee industry has suffered dwindling fortunes over the last 20 years.”
“I am happy to say, however, that a recent set of government initiatives, combined with a new wave of investment and some innovative entrepreneurs is changing that,” he noted, adding that “COCOBOD, the government agency with oversight responsibility over the coffee sector in Ghana, has continued to provide services and inputs required to facilitate the growth and sustenance of the sector.”
By Melvin Tarlue