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31.05.2006 Politics

Parliament ratifies coffee agreement

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Accra, May 31, GNA - Parliament on Wednesday ratified the International Coffee Agreement 2001, although the country has since September 2001, applied the agreement.

The objectives of the Agreement are, among other things, to ensure international cooperation in connection with world coffee matters and to provide consultations and negotiations on coffee matters to achieve reasonable balance between world supply and demand on a basis that would ensure supplies of the product at remunerative prices.

Dr Matthew Antwi, Chairman of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, who presented the Committee's report to the House said: "It is envisaged that whenever export quotas are in force the appropriate quota would be allocated to Ghana to facilitate coffee exports.

"For instance, the last quota allocated to Ghana when quotas were in force in 1983 was 3,000 tonnes though Ghana's actual production at the time was merely 1,500 tonnes", he said.

He said the Council of the International Coffee Organisation had graciously extended the time within which the government might deposit its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval and Ghana had until 31 May, 2006 to deposit its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in order to become a member of the International Coffee Organisation.

Dr Antwi said the Committee had observed that not much attention had been paid to the production of coffee in the country. "Ghana has not been able to meet its quota of 3,000 tonnes allocated her since 1983," he said.

"Since the paramount reason for joining the Association is to earn foreign exchange to support our economy, Ghana Cocoa Board should make serious attempts at increasing the production of coffee."