E/R: Farmers diversify to brewing ‘Akpeteshie’ to cushion Harmattan
Farmers in Yilo Krobo district of the Eastern region are diversifying into brewing local gin known as ‘Akpeteshie’ to economically cushion them as the dry season begins to have a toll on agricultural activities.
According to the farmers, due to lack of irrigation facilities and financial supports, farming comes to a halt during the dry season which inflicts hardship on them, hence the shift to brewing the local gin to sustain the local economy and feed their families.
Consumption of the local gin goes up during the festive season and the Harmattan season as revellers consume more whiles others drink the hot gin to increase their body temperature to fight the cold weather.
Currently, a small size gallon of ‘Akpeteshie’ goes with wholesale price of GHC20 whiles the larger gallon(Kufour gallon) is sold GHC80.
A visit to Pepetifi, a vegetable farming community in the Yilo Krobo District by Ultimate News‘ Eastern Regional Correspondent, Kojo Ansah observed that some farmers were busily brewing the local gin to make income as the vegetable farming has ground to a halt as the harmattan commences.
The farmers told Ultimate News, they are into the business to take care of their families, they however appealed to government to support agriculture in other for farmers to farm all year round.
The farmers also want financial supports and agro inputs to boost agricultural activities.
Solomon Narh and Kwabena Emmanuel both local gin distillers at Pepetifi explained that, business is good especially during this festive season, however due to financial constraints they are unable to produce more to meet the demand.
How Akpeteshie is prepared
‘Apio’ or ‘Akpeteshie’ is distilled from palm wine and sugar. Typically the juice is allowed to ferment over a couple of days. Distilling involves applying intense heat to the fermented juice until it turns into vapour before finally passing through a pipe usually made of copper and then into sieved jars or gallon.
The setup includes two barrels, which passes through a cooler. Packaging of the ‘Akpeteshie’ is still poor as the drink, is not bottled nor sealed and not labelled.
‘Apketeshie’ is always poured in used and borrowed bottles.
The local gin is the only alcoholic beverage highly patronized without advertising.
Nowadays, it is commonly blended with herbs and roots and pour to form a variety of mixture known as bitters which is mostly used as aphrodisiac and other medicinal properties.
‘Akpeteshie’ is very hot beverage with high alcoholic content, hence consumers always acknowledge receipt by blowing out air or pound the chest.
‘Akpeteshie’ is so bad despite risk of liver damages and other health problems associated with the consumption, it is highly patronized due to it’s cheap price.