Following a dramatic rejuvenation of coffee production in the country, especially in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region, the Parliamentary Committee on Food, Agric and Cocoa, said it would make a strong case for a percental increase in government’s initial vote of GH¢4.2m to grow the industry.
A 13-member team headed by Honourable Stephen Kunsu of the select committee was overwhelmed after a tour of Manso Nwanta in the Amansie West District and Fomena in the Adanse North District where they inspected a number of farms, including the Plantation Resources Company Limited owned by NPP MP for Kwadaso, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
The 450 acre farm also has green pepper, one of the biggest fish ponds in the sub-region and a cocoa farm.
The team had earlier visited Kwawu in the Eastern Region to enable it to make a national assessment on government’s new four-year pilot project which ends in November this year.
Government in 2010 through the COCOBOD voted GH¢4.2 million to rejuvenate the industry in its Coffee Rehabilitation Project.
The project aimed among other things, to help farmers retrieve farms that have been abandoned and assist potential ones to take to growing the crop, which is to serve as a back-up for Cocoa production and enhance Ghana’s foreign earnings.
Over the past four years, government through the fund, assisted farmers with improved and high-yielding planting seeds, pay part of their weeding cost every quarter of the year, provide fertilizers, among others, to ease pressure on them.
Government’s continual support of the production of the crop to equal cocoa production would largely depend on the report by the Select Committee.
Dr Akoto told the Daily Graphic ‘with all indications government would continue with its support because as you can see, the signs are positive.’
The DCE for Amansie West, Alex Kwame Bonsu, promised his outfit’s support in collaboration with some NGOs in the area to assist farmers to increase the production of the crop.