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Ghana targets annual cocoa production
of 1.5 mln metric tonnes in 4 years 

ACCRA, (Xinhua) -- Ghana aims to achieve an annual cocoa production of 1.5 million metric tonnes within the next four years through reforms, the industry said Tuesday.

Addressing the official opening of the West Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Conference, Chairman of Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Hackman Owusu-Agyemang said necessary measures, including hi-tech agronomy practices, were being put in place to reach this target.

“It is our objective to achieve a targeted 1.5 million metric tonnes in the next couple of years. The achievement of this projection is dependent on a number of factors, including soil fertility management, pests and disease control, and artificial pollination of farms,” Owusu-Agyemang said.

He added that the payment of remunerative producer price, quality of planting material, the adoption of irrigation on farms and replanting of over-aged cocoa farms would also support the attainment of the target.

Later at a press briefing, the chairman said scientific research had proven that the 1.5 million metric tonnes target was achievable within four years.

He also urged the African and West African blocs to work together in providing and ensuring access to farm inputs for their farmers.

The four-day event attracted more than 250 agriculture business executives from 43 countries.

Namanga Ngongi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), said without adopting improved technology, Africa could not tap into the transformative power of agriculture to fight hunger and poverty.

Almost 60 percent of the world’s arable lands are in Africa, yet yields were low because African farmers could not produce food surpluses with tools and equipment at their disposal, Ngongi lamented.

“They are constrained by poor rains and lack and access to better inputs, improved and resilient crop varieties, better farming methods and low uptake of other technologies to trigger agriculture enterprise. Value addition is the key we need to turn and open the door to Africa’s new agri-preneurs,” he stressed.

Since 2008, Ghana has implemented a Fertilizer Subsidy Program aimed at using fertilizer to boost overall crop productivity. Ghana’s new government has set the ambitious plans to continue investing in agriculture in order to become an agribusiness leader in the West African region. 


Ethiopia earns record 866 mln USD from coffee export

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia has announced a record 866-million-U.S.-dollar earning from coffee export during the just concluded fiscal year.

The announcement by the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing Authority on Wednesday said Ethiopia has secured the revenue from the export of 221,000 tonnes of coffee to the global market.

According to the authority, the country has managed to achieve 92 percent of its targets in coffee export sector during the 2016/2017 fiscal year.

The authority further hailed the performance as “a very great achievement” compared to the previous years as the quantity of coffee product exported grew by 11.5 percent while the income generated from coffee export increased by 20 percent.

Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Belgium, Sudan and South Korea are among the top importers of the Ethiopian coffee, accounting for close to 86 percent of the total coffee exported from Ethiopia, according to the authority.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s largest producers of Arabica coffee. Coffee production is dubbed as the backbone of the country’s agriculture-led economy.

The East African country also announced 74 million dollars earning from gold exports during the same fiscal year.

The revenue was reduced by half from the previous period, when Ethiopia earned 150 million dollars from gold exports.

The Ethiopian Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas has blamed primarily the contraband gold trading for the decrease in gold exports revenue.


Tanzania eyes South African market for coffee

ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) -- Tanzania will soon start selling its processed coffee in South Africa as the country encourages exporting processed coffee products instead of raw beans.

Adolf Mkenda, Permanent Secretary of Tanzania’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, said Tuesday that the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TANTRADE) in collaboration with Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) have started working on the modalities that will make Tanzanian goods including coffee penetrate into the South African markets.

This is a result of the recent agreements made by Tanzanian and South African presidents—John Magufuli and Jacob Zuma—on the need to encourage bilateral business.

Mkenda encouraged Tanzanian coffee processors to offer products that meet international standards.

“We’re losing billions of Tanzanian shillings when selling raw coffee abroad. A cup of coffee in London, UK and elsewhere in the world is much more expensive compared to what we’ve been selling. As government, we’re determined to change the trend by selling processed coffee. This will benefit coffee growers and all people in the value chain,” said Mkenda.

Edwin Rutageruka, TANTRADE acting Director General, said the East African nation produces one of the best coffee beans in the world, and TANTRADE will distribute more coffee processing machines in Tanzania so that more people can drink coffee produced locally.

Coffee is Tanzania’s largest export crop, whose production averages between 30,000-40,000 tonnes each year. A total of 90 percent of the nation’s coffee farms are smallholders, and there are approximately 270,000 workers in the coffee industry. 



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