A SPECIAL Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, has pledged to lead Ghana’s effort to increase coffee production as a way of shifting undue attention from cocoa.
The UN official says his support will be in the area of sharing ideas of how to diversify coffee production; scale up the production of coffee; get a market for coffee; and help the country achieve the sustainable development goals, as well as how to reach new partners.
A source at Kuapa Kooko, a cocoa farmers’ cooperative organisation, said prior to making this pledge, Prof. Sachs, a renowned economist, had already connected the West African country’s organisation to the world’s number three leading manufacturer of coffee products, Luigi Lavazza, a testimony of an already existing market for their produce.
The source said the professor’s support to Ghana in this diversification exercise was spurred by Kuapa Kooko’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme which will see over 100,000 cocoa cooperatives and more than 500,000 households set up a coffee processing plant and coffee plaza at Ampabame and Daatano, both in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Assembly in the Ashanti Region in the coming years.
At a high level meeting during an SDG programme hosted by Ghana on Monday, Prof. Sachs expressed his excitement about the ideas put forth by the management of Kuapa Kooko and further promised to assist them to realise their dreams.
“This, for me, is very exciting and I am going to continue to do my best to help bring the partners and help Kuapa Kooko fulfil its vision,” he noted.
Kuapa Kooko’s SDG-compliant project, for which seven-and-a-half (7.5) acres of land has been acquired, was facilitated by Millennium Promise Alliance, a non-governmental organisation which is at the forefront of the SDGs in Africa.
The project is said to fall in line with the Government of Ghana’s vision of adding value to cash crops like coffee and as well help in the fight to achieve the SDGs.
A coffee processing plant which also has a packaging and a warehousing facility, according to the initiators of the project, will be set up on a six-acre plot in the free zone area in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality a coffee plaza will be set up on a one-and-a-half acres of land situated on the Accra-Kumasi Highway.
The Managing Director of Kuapa Kooko, Mr Samuel Adimado, addressing the meeting, explained the rationale behind the diversification exercise and the setting up of the SDG-compliant coffee processing plant and a plaza.
According to him, the impact of climate change, which is seriously affecting the production of coffee and trickled down to affect the income levels of farmers, has necessitated the need to diversify into production of coffee, which is resistant to climate change.