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The International Trade Center launches coffee processing handbook to boost Ghana’s coffee industry

In a collaborative effort to bolster coffee production in Ghana and West Africa, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and other stakeholders have launched the inaugural edition of a handbook on coffee processing for farmers and agro-processors.

This handbook serves as a comprehensive guide for farmers, small and medium-scale processing enterprises, emphasizing the harvesting, post-harvest management, and crucially, the processing of coffee. Its primary objective is to ensure industry-wide quality standards while facilitating value addition within the coffee value chain.

The maiden edition of this handbook was unveiled on July 13, 2023, at the Food Research Institute in Accra. Prof. Charles Tortoe, the Director of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Food Research Institute (CSIR-FRI), emphasized the transformative impact the handbook will have on the coffee industry in Ghana and West Africa. He highlighted its focus on quality assurance, meeting international standards, and the potential for significant foreign exchange earnings from the global coffee industry.

Prof. Tortoe explained that the handbook’s purpose is to optimize coffee value by incorporating value addition, an essential aspect beyond the primary production managed by Cocobod. The launch event celebrated the collaboration between CSIR-FRI, ITC, and ACP in developing this manual to establish a value chain that encompasses the entire production process. By ensuring quality coffee, Ghana can export a superior product, generating foreign exchange. The manual effectively captures the significance of coffee quality for successful industry operations and exports.

Mr. Larry Attipoe, the National Coordinator for International Trade Centres and Alliances for Change & Value Chain Development, stressed the substantial international market potential for high-quality coffee. He expressed that the handbook would serve as a guideline for all industry players, enabling them to attain the required quality standards for international competitiveness. Recognizing coffee as a pivotal value chain for Ghana’s development, he highlighted the need to bring coffee from local farms to the market, aligning with ITC’s mandate to promote competitiveness.

The launch event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), and coffee processors who expressed their support through goodwill messages. The project received funding from the European Union and received backing from the Organization of Africa Caribbean and Pacific States, including ACRAM—an international non-profit association focused on the Robusta coffee sector in Africa and Madagascar.

This project is part of a broader EU ACP Programme, and ITC leads the intervention in Ghana. The program aims to revitalize the coffee sector by providing support to actors along the coffee value chain, farmer cooperatives, and supporting institutions. This support includes capacity-building training in good agricultural practices, harvesting techniques, and coffee farm establishment.

Workshops on coffee roasting, cupping, coffee shop management, and market development are organized to enhance farmers’ productivity and promote value addition. Moreover, coffee MSMEs are given opportunities to participate in international coffee fairs for business-to-business and business-to-consumer interactions, fostering market growth.

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