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October 10, 2010

Ghana seeks to double coffee production in four years

by Moses Mozart Dzawu

Ghana, the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer, will spend $4.5 million to more than double production of coffee to 3,000 metric tons in four years, the state-run industry regulator said.

The project will expand crop cultivation to 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres), William Quaittoo, the Ghana Cocoa Board’s manager for coffee and shea, said in an interview yesterday in the capital, Accra.

“Wherever cocoa can grow, coffee can also thrive there,” he said.

Coffee output may reach 1,260 metric tons during the 2010- 11 harvest, making Ghana the third-smallest producer of the beans in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Liberia and Central African Republic produce less than Ghana, at 600 tons each.

Africa’s biggest coffee grower, Ethiopia, is expected to produce 252,000 tons during its October-to-September harvest, according to the USDA. Ghana’s neighbor Ivory Coast, the world’ biggest cocoa grower, may produce 132,000 tons during the 2010- 11 harvest.

Ghana mainly grows the robusta variety of coffee, a lower- quality bean used primarily for the production of instant coffee, according to the International Coffee Organization.

Ghana’s Finance Ministry has approved the request for funding, which will be used to revamp abandoned farms and start new plantations, Quaittoo said.

“The intention is to make sure every part of the value chain works well,” he said.

Robusta coffee for November delivery fell in London by $4, or 0.3 percent, to $1,593 per ton at 12:13 p.m.

Bloomberg

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