July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Ghana, the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer, plans a more than fivefold increase in coffee output by 2015 as it replants old farms.
The Ghana Cocoa Board, which also oversees the coffee industry in the West African nation, is targeting output of 10,000 metric tons, up from 1,700 tons now, said Noah Amenyah, a spokesman for the Accra-based board, in an interview yesterday. By 2021, production may reach 20,000 tons, he said.
“The board is weeding farms for farmers free of charge,” he said. “All other inputs and extension services are also being offered at no cost to the farmers.”
Ghana neighbors Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer and Africa’s third-biggest coffee grower. Both countries produce mainly the robusta variety of beans, which are used in instant coffee and espresso.
In 2012, the Ghanaian board, known as Cocobod, will encourage farmers to plant new trees that will quadruple the area under coffee cultivation to 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres), said William Quaittoo, the board’s manager for coffee, by phone July 25.
“We are taking advantage of cocoa-growing areas that are lying idle,” he said. Cocobod will spend 4 million cedis ($2.6 million), Quaittoo said.
Cocobod asked companies that buy coffee from farmers to register with the board, similar to the cocoa industry’s system of licensed buyers, Amenyah said. The agencies will be able to get loans from the board and banks to purchase coffee, he said.
The board is also considering setting a fixed minimum buying price for coffee beans, he said. Ghana establishes a similar rate at the start of every cocoa harvest.
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