Government has committed about GHS50 million to embark on a program to grow and export coffee as a commercial crop, Agriculture Minister, Dr Akoto Osei, has said.
This was made known at the Ghana Coffee Conference in Accra which saw stakeholders within the coffee value chain deliberate on ways of making Ghana a leading producer of coffee in the world.
Minister for Agriculture
Speaking at the event, Dr Akoto Osei said the government has pulled the needed resources to begin the large-scale cultivation of coffee under the ‘Planting for exports and rural development project.’
“We have to diversify into coffee cultivation and export. We have over depended on cocoa over the decades and this has to change.
We (government) have committed GHS50 million into this project and we expect to be in business with coffee exports,” he said.
The maiden edition of the coffee conference has been described as very timely especially when Ghana is documented to be losing billions of dollars for not investing in this enterprise.
President of the Coffee Federation of Ghana, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko expressed confidence in this project. He said global investors are already on standby to cash into this new coffee enterprise by the government.
He said, “There is a growing local market for coffee characterized by high demand. This situation leaves us with no option than to hop into production for both export and local consumption. It is sad to know that in the face of Ghana’s great potential to rank as one of the world’s leading producers, coffee’s share of Ghana’s GDP stood at a paltry 0.12 percent in 2015.”
The commodity, apart from having the potential to rake in more revenue to shore up the US$2billion that cocoa generates annually, according to experts, could also create more than 500,000 jobs in the Ghanaian economy.