Lack of data hampering growth of coffee – CFG vice-prez

Samuel Adimado – Vice president of CFG

In order for Ghana to become a coffee economy again and drive up profits in that sector, it needs to develop a strong database of the entire value chain, Vice-President of the Coffee Federation of Ghana (CFG) Samuel Adimado, has suggested.

“Yes, we are a player in the coffee industry; but globally if you want to say you are a player, you must have the data in order to argue; although we have farmers that cultivate coffee, you must have very comprehensive data to present to the international market.

“So, this is an attempt to improve and revamp our coffee industry. Some years back we were doing a lot in coffee, but with collapse of the global coffee market we lost that position,” Mr. Adimado told B&FT in an interview at the CFG General Assembly Meeting in Accra.

For 2019, the CFG intends to concentrate on data collection exercises to map out farmers’ warehouses to assess the coffee sector’s strength and determine the help needed; conduct soil mapping; ensure passage of the Coffee sector regulations; as well as develop a baseline assessment of coffee consumption in Ghana.

CFG in collaboration with Cocobod, Mr. Adimado said, is revisiting the coffee industry where they will professionalise it; make it more attractive; and improve on the quality and bring innovation.

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Additionally, he indicated that the idea is to make coffee more profitable to farmers as a diversified income strategy; and, also, to address the climate change impact in coffee and cocoa economies that are no longer producing for cocoa.

Some parts of Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Volta Regions are considered conducive for coffee.

He further added that revamping coffee requires private sector and government support, but maintained there has been a lot of support coming through already – with the only issue having to do with mapping-out the kind of support that will go to farmers.

“There is so much support in registering the sector, have a database, knowing who is doing what in the coffee chain, and looking at what planting materials are needed together with Cocoa Research Institute and all the state-owned institutions that can drive home the profit,” he said.

Already, 20,000 farmers have expressed interest to invest in coffee as a business.

On profitability of the business, Mr. Adimado indicated that it will depend on the farmers who are keen on it to follow-through the information and do it well.

“What we want to amplify is that coffee should be a diversified option for farmers that want to go into coffee as an enterprise, so we want to support coffee and champion it as a diversified income in the commodity arena, which is the idea behind CFG.”

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The Coffee Sector regulations, in particular, when passed “will give us bargaining power to secure funding; it will help us with our pricing,” explained Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, President of CFG.

Africa, statistics indicate, produces about 10.8 percent of the world’s total volume of coffee. However, Africa only consumes 3 percent of total coffee produced on the continent domestically.

Ethiopia for instance consumes 50 percent of total volume of coffee produced locally, while Kenya consumes about 5 percent of coffee produced.

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