Nine hundred coffee farmers have been selected nationwide to be trained in six coffee, growing regions in Ghana to increase productivity.
Chief Nat Nsarko, President, Coffee Federation of Ghana, said 350 of the selected farmers are from the Volta Region.
The training, being conducted with the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, (CRIG) seeks to address challenges faced by coffee farmers in the Eastern, Volta, Bono, Ashanti, Ahafo and Bono East regions.
Chief Nsarko, in a press release copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), noted that the main objective of the training was to equip farmers in modern methods of coffee farming so they could diversify and earn more from the industry.
The release took note of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s belief that with the necessary attention, coffee production would generate more revenue and advance the nation’s export promotion drive.
The release said the training workshops would be conducted over two weeks with a focus on harvesting techniques and post-harvest management of coffee.
“Participatory adult learning approaches will be used to conduct the training with a blend of theoretical and practical, hands-on sessions,” it further stated.
Earlier this year, the Coffee Federation of Ghana with its partners embarked on a field mission in some coffee-growing areas in Eastern, Volta, Ashanti, Bono and Bono East regions, to ascertain the state of coffee production in Ghana.
It was also to identify the challenges associated with the value chain to set up priorities for sustainable impact in the development of the coffee sector.
The release said the mission was conducted under the ambit of Work Stream, one of the EU funded “Support to Business Friendly and Inclusive National and Regional Policies and Strengthening Productive Capabilities and Value Chains” Project.
The field visit revealed that the tonnage of coffee per acre per annum is on average seven bags with a myriad of challenges and production deficiencies.
“These challenges include lack of market centres for the coffee beans, lack of capital to maintain coffee farms, no standardised price regime for coffee, lack of hulling machines to grade the coffee beans.
“Lack of technical know-how on the part of farmers to carry out harvesting and post-harvest management practices, inadequate extension services to provide training on coffee handling and inadequate nurseries to produce coffee seedlings.”
The training is being funded through the International Trade Centre (ITC)/European Union (EU) and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Coffee Project.
It is also in partnership with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and L’Agence des Cafés Robusta d’Afrique et de Madagascar (ACRAM).
The release said the collaborative effort to train the farmers and enhance their skills and knowledge base on coffee production and management is in line with the directive of President Akufo-Addo to stakeholders to help in achieving a GHC2 billion turnover income from coffee production.
The release appealed to all stakeholders and the media to help support the initiative and provide assistance to its field workers to achieve the goals in enhancing coffee production in the country for export.
“We recognise that coffee production is a lucrative business, which can offer massive employment to our teeming unemployed youths in the country.
“Therefore, the Coffee Federation of Ghana will be rolling out a number of programmes next year, 2022 such as the ‘Youth in Coffee Production Programme,’ which seeks to support the youth in coffee agribusiness.”
The release encouraged the youth to show interest and participate in the activities of the coffee sector in the country.
“The future is Coffee and we need the support from the media and all stakeholders to champion this course.”
Ziavi, Kpoeta, Leklebi, Gbledi, and Amedzofe-Dzogbekofe will benefit from the programme in the Volta region.