GHANA’S COFFEE AND SHEA BUTTER SECTORS TO RECEIVE A BOOST
The Minister of Finance in the 2020 Budget indicated efforts to finalise reforms in the coffee sector to improve marketing of the produce. According to the Minister, the coffee sector received a budgetary allocation of GH¢2.04 million in the 2018/19 crop year to support activities in the coffee sector.
A major support was to raise 5 million improved coffee seedlings for free distribution to the coffee farmers.
The sector however in the 2019/20 crop year would receive an amount of GH¢1.9 million for support. Support will take the form of free supply of improved seedlings to farmers. This would be in addition to the free extension services already being given to the sector.
Coffee is part of Ghana’s non-traditional export (NTE) produce. In the 2018/19 crop year, 900 tonnes of coffee was produced in Ghana. A government scheme launched in 2011 to revive the sector has transformed production and marketing of Ghanaian coffee.
It led to 2,400 hectares of new and revitalised coffee plantations, with farmers attracted by the introduction of fair prices for the crop.
The primary coffee plant variety historically grown in Ghana is Robusta which is considered to be a lower grade coffee than Arabica
As part of initiatives to deepen the shea butter sector, the government is working on operationalising a regulatory body with its own source of funding for shea butter. The COCOBOD is leading this initiative, and has moved its head office to Tamale. It has also set up another office in Wa.
According to the Minister, these efforts are expected to deepen the shea butter sector to make it a meaningful contributor to the economy.
Shea butter grows all by itself and being one of the easiest commodities to manage, it would serve as a good job creation and economy diversification avenue for the country.
An additional boost is the fact that a faster-growing variety, that takes only 3 years to grow instead of the 10 year gestation has been discovered as well.