Asili Coffee Pureyors Limited, a coffee trading and processing company, has launched its range of coffee products in Accra.
Asili Coffee is a Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) licensed coffee dealer with its head-office based in Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Akropong, Dennis Edward Aboagye noted that the establishment of a coffee industry in the country is a great sign of industrialization.
According to him, industrialization transforms an economy from primarily agricultural to one based on the manufacturing of goods which is synonymous with economic growth and development.
He said no country desirous of rapid economic progress can afford to neglect industries.
Mr. Aboagye noted that rural development does not mean agriculture alone. He said the rationale for promoting rural industries is to generate employment at the local level, use local resources and labour intensive technology, produce goods to satisfy local demand and increase incomes at the village level. This, he said will promote rural economic growth and diversity.
“Countries that would want to pursue rural development policies must recognize that agriculture plays a key role to that agenda. Agriculture is normally considered a pre-requisite for industrialization development. Rural areas face serious challenges. Poor infrastructure, lack of basic needs such as food schools, and health care facilities, few jobs opportunities. Increase in agriculture productivity can sustain and support industrial development in these areas to address these challenges”, said Mr. Aboagye.
On his part, Deputy Minster for Local Government and Rural Development, Collins Ntim revealed that as at end of May 2018, four million coffee seedlings had been raised and currently distributed to farmers. He added that over nine million cashew seedlings are ready and also undergoing grafting to be supplied to the farmers.
He again revealed that over 1.1 million oil palm seedlings have been procured for onward distribution top farmers and over 6,000 coconut seedlings have also been arranged to be distributed to farmers for free. 74 cashew extension officers have been trained in modern cashew grafting and agronomic practices.
In all, the Deputy Minister said there are 55 districts programmed for coffee, 98 for cashew, 14 for shea, 20 for coconut, 36 for oil palm, 20 for citrus, 20 for mango, 14 for cotton and about 200,000 farmers are expected to benefit from this support for the pilot year of 2018.
“This effort is expected create jobs for the youth, mitigate the effects of climate change, increase household income in the rural areas and establish a sustainable raw material base to spur up the decentralized industrialisation drive through the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative.
He said government’s immediate priority is to build on the resilience of the rural communities, harnessing what works successfully for them and also turn the focus on the youth, most of whom were not gainfully employed.
According to him, his ministry in collaboration with MoFA and the secretariat of ‘One District, One Factory’ rolled out a national tree crop program dubbed Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) to compliment the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative by government.
“The PERD programme seeks to develop eight commodity value chains namely Cashew, Coffee, Cotton Coconut, Citrus, Oil Palm, Mangoes and Shea through our decentralised system. This effort is expected create jobs for youth, mitigate the effects of climate change, increase household income in the rural areas and establish a sustainable raw material base to spur up the decentralized industrialisation drive through One District Factory initiative”, he said.
Collins Ntim added that: “As a decentralized intervention, all districts under the programme are expected to raise seedlings to be distributed freely to between 5,000 to 10,000 farmers to own at least I hectare of any of the tree crop identified. MMDA’s are required to engage between 50 100 youths who would be trained as extension agents and would be required to use GPS machines to map all the farms and a database of the farmers established and the farmers will be aggregated into cooperatives for the private sector to link up to establish the corresponding value addition linkages”.
The 5-year PERD programme is expected to support 770,000 farmers in 168 districts with free planting materials for the eight crops identified and validated to cover about 1.5 million hectares of farmlands.
The Deputy Minister implored the private sector to take advantage of the enabling environment created by this government and ambitious agriculture programmes to diversify and grow their businesses.