Government moves to bridge 65% coffee supply gap
Government has since last month begun the distribution of four million coffee seedlings to farmers in the production area of the country under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme, Deputy Local Government Minister, Collins Ntim has revealed.
This, according to him, would help the country bridge the huge deficit of 65 per cent in coffee production and supply. It is expected that by 2023, this programme will enable coffee production to reach 50,000 tonnes.
Speaking at the launch of Asili Coffee brand, Ntim said, the five-year PERD programme is expected to support 1,000, 000 farmers in 168 districts with free planting materials for the eight crops identified and validated to cover about 1.5 million hectares of farmlands.
To sustain this about 20,000 young graduates will be engaged as crop specialised extension assistants and deployed on the average of about 20 per district.
“Out of the eight commodity value chains under the programme, formalization of the coffee industry has been successful, through the contribution of Asili Company towards this success.”
The deputy minister noted that the programme has been able to facilitate the formation of the Coffee Federation of Ghana, a public and private sector led organization that seeks to lead the coffee revolution in Ghana, of which Asili Coffee Purveyors Ltd. Plays a core role in the Federation.
Furthermore, under the PERD programme, over nine million cashew seedlings are also ready and undergoing grafting to be supplied to the farmers while 74 cashew extension officers have been trained in modern cashew grafting and agronomic practices.
Over 1.1 million oil palm seedlings have been procured for onward distribution to farmers, while over 6,000 coconut seedlings have also been arranged to be distributed to farmers for free.
Currently, there is an upscaling in coffee producing areas in the country under the programme to 55 districts, and 98 for cashew, 14 for shea, 20 for coconut, 36 for oil palm, 20 for citrus, 20 for mango and 14 for cotton and about 200,000 farmers are expected to benefit from this support for the pilot year of 2018.