Coffee still remains one of the ancient most cultivated commercial crops across the country, with about 1,500 tonnes produced within the Ho West District each year.
The district has ten milling centres, used to sell semi-processed coffee, and people from all walks of life, come to the area to buy the coffee.
Kpoeta-Ashanti, a Farming Community in the Ho West District of the Volta Region is well noted for the cultivation of Coffee and Xylopea, popularly known in Ewe as “etso”.
The district also boasts of growing and production of nutmeg. A nutmeg nursery and grafting centre was established to produce nutmeg. A well-grown nutmeg tree that is about 15 years can generate an average of Ghc500.00 cedis, of one nutmeg that falls from its tree.
With about 2,800 active coffee farmers in the region, they are able to produce 23 per cent of total seedlings under Planting for Rural for Export, as well as export to other countries for income generation.
A coffee haulier and a poultry farmer, Cephas Kormepkor, lamented over the stagnant growth of the coffee business in the area.
He said though buyers come from Accra and Xiavi, a town in Ho to buy and sometimes roast the coffee to produce tea, the income generated is meagre.
For him, during the coffee season which starts from November to March, he produces between one and a half to two tonnes; but unfortunately, his crops do not make it to the markets.
This, he said, was because of the low prices of coffee adding that the surrounding of borders has made smuggling of coffee to other parts of the region and other countries intense.
“There is the need for continued growth and expansion and promoting of these coffee seedlings, thus, the government must come to the aid of these farmers”, he reiterated.
Cephas Kormepkor noted that though a coffee company known as Up Country Coffee Company provided the district with a processing factory known as nutmeg and grafting centre, it behoves on government to also provide stable market support to farmers since a drafted nutmeg takes up to three months of processing.
He appealed to government to provide a coffee roaster in order to employ many youths in the area, and coffee processing machines which would help farmers to produce more to generate income.
He said, “the future of coffee is Ho West and our lands are good for it, so the government must give it attention since it is of economic importance to the country”.
He also called on Non-Governmental Organisations to support in making coffee farming attractive to the youth, to enable them to produce more for exports.
Coffee, therefore, is a viable business, that should be given bigger attention and support to oversee its mass production in the region.
The government should also expand coffee exports and processing; and as part of its one district one factory policy, they should provide more factories for the production of staple crops to promote its exports.
By Agnes Melissa Yovo | Volta Region