Kuapa Kokoo, a cocoa farmers’ co-operative organization, is to set up a coffee processing plant and coffee plaza at Ampabame and Daatano respectively in the Ejisu Juaben district of the Ashanti Region under its sustainable development programme, Managing Director for the organization, Samuel Adimado, has revealed.
Mr. Adimado indicated that even though they are yet to determine the full financials for the coffee program, it is expected to be a “multi-billion dollar” project.
“It is quite a lot of money. If you look at the model, it is a multi-billion enterprise and therefore we will work with our financial stakeholders, government, partners and the rest to put an iconic processing plant in place,” he said.
The decision to set up a coffee processing plant was spearheaded by Millennium Promise Alliance, which is led by country director, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, who expressed hope about the project.
At a meeting with renowned economist, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, in Accra to dialogue and outline strategies the organisation is undertaking to get the programme off the ground, Mr Adimado maintained that they have secured a 6-acre land in the Free Zone area of Kumasi to construct a coffee processing, packaging, and warehousing factory.
Additionally, the organisation have also secured one and half acre plot to be used for the construction of a coffee plaza along the Accra-Kumasi highway.
He explained the rationale behind the coffee programme: “What it means is that as a cooperative business there is huge potential to inculcate the business of farming–making farmers more efficient, more professionalised–so this is an effort to diversify into other income streams that is compatible with cocoa production.
The coffee programme is a top-up of professionalizing into doing cocoa very well and having other resources to invest in other agricultural enterprise.”
Furthermore, he stated that the organization will target areas that used to do well in cocoa but have been affected by climate to turn to coffee production.
He indicated that they will use the coffee programme to interface in climate challenged areas of Kuapa Kokoo and also focus on marginal fields in cocoa growing areas that are not conducive for cocoa production.
According to Mr Adimado, an environment scanning reveals that about 30,000 farmers in the Northern part of Ashanti region, Brong Ahafo, Central and Eastern part as well as part of Volta have expressed interest about the programme.
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, who is also an adviser on the sustainable development goals (SGDs) and a consultant to the project, shared his thoughts with B&FT after the meeting with officials of Kuapa Kokoo.
“I am to meet with Kuapa and see what it got to do, very forward looking ideas, how to scale up the production of coffee and diversify; how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the Kuapa Kokoo family of farm households and how to reach new partners.
This for me is very exciting and I am going to continue to do my best to help bring the partners and help Kuapa Kokoo fulfill its vision,” the renowned professor said.
The coffee programme falls in line with government’s vision of adding value to cash crop like coffee, as well as help in the fight to achieve sustainable development goals.
Kuapa Kokoo is made up of about 100,000 cocoa cooperatives and a household of over 500,000.
By: Kennedy Tetteh
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