The Coffee Federation of Ghana is demanding decisive state action to ensure the transformation of the country’s coffee sector.
For the Federation, technical assistance among others remains major components to tackling existing challenges in the coffee value chain and boost the Coffee Development Program.
Speaking in Accra at the Coffee People’s Conference for farmers, processors and exporters of the cash crop, President of the Coffee Federation of Ghana, Chief Nat Ebo Nsako intimated that due to government’s neglect of the Coffee industry, Ghana continues to lose millions of cedis thereby affecting the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“We are calling on the government to ensure that the needed investments are put in place to help transform the coffee sector and support the industrialization of coffee which is simpler than cocoa processing our domestic consumption.”
The Federation says government’s tree crop policy is expected to boost coffee sub-sector to ensure approximately US$ 2 million in foreign exchange generation annually.
It is thus making a strong case for the government to supervise a better working relationship between Coffee growers and COCOBOD to see to a proper revamping of coffee production in Ghana.
“Government must expedite action on the creation of the division for coffee to facilitate the engagement of actors in the sector towards its transformation. As the Federation of Ghana, we will want to work directly with COCOBOD since coffee was not included in the Tree Crop Authority.
“We want to see a better relationship and support as being done with cocoa. In fact, we believe, it would be in order for proceeds from cocoa to be used to support the development of the coffee sector”, Chief Nsako stated.
Coffee farmers’ challenges
The coffee farmers say the sector continues to grapple with low government support, ageing farmers and farm and low yield per acre due to lack of coffee specific agro-inputs, pest and disease infestation and improper cultural practices in cultivation.
“Farmers lack equipment, infrastructure and access to information to help them in adopting modern practices. Linked to concerns over price and quality is the fact that many producers are unable to value their own coffee in the same way that buyers and consumers do. This can make it difficult to both improve farming methods and negotiate with buyers”, the Federation lamented.
In light of the opportunities the Ghana Coffee sector presented and the challenges faced by members in the coffee value chain, the Federation made the following eight other specific requests to revamp and boost the coffee sector:
- Approve the coffee regulations of Ghana.
- Support to reclaim ‘galamsey’ lands for coffee production
- Increase investments in the coffee sub-sector as this could create over 500,000 jobs across the coffee value chain.
- Provide equipment such as hauling machines to farmers.
- Introduce crop insurance for coffee farmers.
- Promote sustainable farming methods and approaches.
- Provide flexible, medium to long-term financing for actors in the value chain.
- Increase the number of technical extension officers available to support coffee farmers.