Ghana has committed GH₵50 million (about $10 million) to a programme that seeks to grow and export coffee as a commercial crop.
Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who made the disclosure in Accra said: “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 50 million cedis into this project and we expect to be in business with coffee exports,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at a Ghana Coffee Conference and added that the coffee initiative was part of a broader programme dubbed ‘Planting for exports and rural development project.’
According to the Coffee Federation of Ghana, the country losses several millions of dollars yearly for failing to commercialise the cash crop.
Its president, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, however expressed confidence in the new project, noting that global investors were already on standby to pump money into the new enterprise.
“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 be one of the world’s leading producers, coffee’s share of Ghana’s GDP stood at a paltry 0.12 per cent in 2015.”
The commodity, apart from having the potential to rake in more revenue to shore up the $2billion that cocoa generates annually, according to experts, could also create more than 500,000 jobs in the Ghanaian economy.
Industry experts say the commodity, especially the Robusta coffee, is better adapted to slightly higher temperatures and is a better alternative to the country’s number one export commodity, cocoa.