Business News of Sunday, 7 October 2018
Ghana stands to lose about 1.5 billion dollars every year if it continues to fail to invest in the expansion of the coffee industry.
This is according to the Coffee Federation of Ghana.
Statistics on the sector also show that its contribution to GDP has dwindled over the years.
Some farmers who have been speaking to Citi Business News are however confident of the prospects of the cash crop is given prominence.
Speaking to Citi Business News at the sidelines of a Coffee Conference in Accra, President of the Coffee Federation of Ghana, Nat Ebo Nsako said government must pay more attention to the sector in order to prevent the potential loss of revenue in the sector.
“As a country, if you look at the land size that is lying fallow and the land that can can grow coffee yet is not being used, it is pathetic. We are losing 1.5 billion dollars in foreign exchange due to the lack of investment in the sector and that alone to me is very worrying”, he lamented.
He added, “As a country, if we should add 1.5 billion dollars to our revenue it will solve a lot of our problems. It will ease our unemployment situation and also help to create more sustainable means of livelihood. So government should take a critical look at the coffee industry.”
On his part, Deputy Minister for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Collins Augustine Ntim said the coffee industry should see more improvement from next year  with the official launch of the Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme.
The policy will focus on the production of six major cash crops including coffee.
“This year  was the pilot year for the Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme and we managed to support one hundred and seventy districts to raise a total of 8.7 million seedlings of the various cash crops. The official launch of the programme will be in the first quarter of 2019 in which six major cash crops including coffee will receive major investment”, he stated.
Again, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto disclosed that his ministry is working on policies to enforce monitoring within the sector.
“There are a whole lot of things happening from the policy point of view, from the project point of view and now with the participation of the private sector. We are hoping that this whole thing will take off in a way that will bring diversification to the agricultural sector of this country”, he explained.