Coffee farmers are urging government to industrialize the coffee sector to create jobs and rake in foreign exchange for the nation.
According to the Coffee Federation of Ghana, industralizing the sector will provide the youth enormous opportunities, hence the need to have a clear-cut industrial policy for it.
Coffee is a viable cash crop that thrives where cocoa grows and even on lands cocoa cannot grow on.
The Federation is holding President Akuffo-Addo to a statement he made at the Inter-African Coffee Organisation (IACO) conference where he assured that the coffee sector will be revamped.
President of the Federation, Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko urged government to put into action all promises. The coffee farmers are targeting revenue of two billion cedis by 2030.
“We have the arable lands and yet some few people are playing with the lives of several thousands of farmers. We call on government to approve the coffee regulations. We submitted it two years ago and we’re still looking forward to receiving the government’s signature.”
“We are willing to support them to reclaim some of the lands we lost to “galamsey” for coffee. We also call on government to increase investment in the coffee subsector as this could create over 500,000 jobs across the value chain,” he said.
Dr. Dickson Boateng, the farmers’ representative on the federation, also called on government to support the industry with equipment and farm inputs to be able to feed the coffee processors.
“The farmers need some tools. During harvesting times, we need some mixed blowers, insecticides, sacks and if possible, hauling machines. The cocoa industry has people who go around spraying; such are the things that we need during harvesting times,” he appealed.
Representative for indigenous coffee processors, Doreen Tetteh also appealed to government to put in place measures to provide farmers with viable seedlings and a scheme for soft loans.
“We’re saying that government should put in place to support us or assist us obtain soft loans at highly competitive interest rate; and then also provide sustainable jobs for our women because in the coffee sector, women are very active,” she said.
Meanwhile, President of Coffee Buyers and Exporters Association, Kwame Adu Tawiah, has called for a clear system where coffee farmers are aware of their regulatory body.
“Everything centred on coffee should be developed by its own board just like the federation that we have set. And if we’re going to put coffee under COCOBOD, the board has its own priorities on cocoa; So, who is going to develop the coffee sector,” he lamented.