The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has announced moves to increase the annual production of coffee in the medium-term through its Seed Production Division (SPD).
According to the regulator, this has become necessary as a result of the growing demand for the commodity both domestically and internationally.
In an interaction with Graphic Business, Executive Director of the SPD, Faustine Asamany said plans are underway to distribute free coffee seeds across the country in June this year.
With a target of distributing some 630,000 coffee seeds, the COCOBOD says it plans to ramp up production of coffee to 50,000 tonnes annually.
“The seed production process started with the Cocoa Research Institute Ghana (CRIG), which did the development of the hybrid materials for the SPD. We then multiply the hybrid materials and then produce hybrid pods. We use the pods to establish seed gardens, starting with the clonal materials that we produce, out of which we use hand pollination to pollinate the clonal pods and develop hybrid seed pods,” she explained.
She continued, “Aside from cocoa, coffee is also an economic plant to the country and so CRIG has started developing some hybrid coffee berries. And in some of our cocoa stations, we have the coffee seed gardens where we intercrop the male and the female and they cross-pollinate and out of that we get the berries which we plant. We intend to distribute 630,000 seedlings to farmers this year.”
Meanwhile, Ghana currently produces about 10,000 tonnes of coffee every year meant for the domestic market but a lack of demand for the commodity amid unfavorable prices in recent times has resulted in many farmers losing interest in the production of coffee.
This in turn resulted in COCOBOD reducing its support to the coffee sector over the years but with demand for the commodity now on the rise, COCOBOD plans to provide the requisite support for propelling the sector.
source: Ghana Web