Asili Coffee, a carefully selected and roasted to the highest specialty standard coffee, has been introduced onto the Ghanaian market.
Licensed by COCOBOD, the new coffee brand is ethically sourced from the best African farms with most outstanding beans.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who outdoored the product at the weekend, commended the Asili company’s leaders for being innovative by adding value to a commodity that was lesser known.
He said coffee had been an old crop but had not contributed immensely to the economy because not much attention had been focused on it.
“We have over the years concentrated on cocoa neglecting coffee. It is time to focus on growing, up-scaling and adding value to benefit from the growing demand. We can do it and it is good we have started now,” he noted.
Mr Collins Ntim, Deputy Minister of Local Government, said the government was focusing on agriculture and industrialisation as the anchor of the country’s economy by creating economic and social opportunities for the private sector.
He noted that government was poised to transform the rural landscape of the country in a sustainable manner by creating a more diversified, better-integrated and modern rural economy to improve living standards and prosperity.
“Government’s immediate priority is to build on the resilience of the rural communities, harnessing what works successfully for them and also turn the focus on the youth, most of whom are not gainfully employed,” he stated.
The Deputy Minister said together with other institutions, government had rolled out a national tree crop programme, dubbed Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), to complement the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative.
The programme would develop eight commodity value chains namely Cashew, Coffee, Cotton Coconut, Citrus, Oil Palm, Mangoes and Shea, through a decentralised system.
The move according to him would create jobs for the youth, mitigate the effects of climate change, increase household income in the rural areas and establish a sustainable raw material base to spur up the decentralized industrialisation drive through the ‘One District One Factory’ initiative.
Mr Ntim recounted that, as at end of the month of May, some four million coffee seedlings had been raised and distributed to farmers.
He urged the private sector to take advantage of the enabling environment, created by government and the ambitious agricultural programmes to diversify and grow businesses.
Mr Dareen Change, Director of Quality Control, Asili Coffee, explained that the variety of the product had been specially made with floral fragrance.
He noted that the company with its headquarters in Akropong Akuapem, in the Eastern Region, had cultivated many acres for coffee in the area.
The waste of the coffee, he said, was being used to grow oyster mushrooms, as part of efforts to build a thriving business in the Municipality, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability.
Mr Dennis Aboagye, Municipal Chief Executive of Akropong, who underscored the essence of industrialisation, remarked that it helped the progress of agriculture, trade, transport and all other economic activities.
“Industries help make the best possible use of our human and physical resource in the interest of economy. Rapid industrialization is important for generating employment opportunities, utilization of all types of resources, promotion of education, training and research, improving the productivity of labour and balanced regional development.
“This is the key to economic development. All advanced countries of the world are industrialized. The rationale for promoting rural industries is to generate employment at the local level, use local resources and labour intensive technology, produce goods to satisfy local demand and increase incomes at the village level,” he hinted.