Farmers at Ziope in the Agotime-Ziope District of the Volta Region are forced to sell their tomatoes cheaply to avoid letting the produce go waste on the farms.
A crate of tomatoes is selling for Gh₵30.00 or less which according to the farmers, is the only option left to them.
Though the farmers have been blessed with good harvest this tomato season, they are unable to make profit due to the absence of available market for the highly perishable produce at a good price from the farmers.
Ziope, a major vegetable, especially tomato producing area in the Volta Region has been described on many occasions as one of the “food baskets” of the country.
Though tomato is produced there in commercial quantities, the absence of a processing facility makes it difficult for farmers to make money from their farms, thus, discouraging the youth to take up farming.
Some farmers who spoke to voltaonlinegh.com expressed frustration at successive governments’ inability to support the district with a tomato factory to enable farmers enjoy their toil.
A farmer, Promise Gati wondered, “what is government waiting for? We have land available for free for government to build a factory for processing and canning tomatoes”
“The community is ready to provide land to any investor who is ready to establish tomato factory in the community. The community is producing over 5000 crates of tomatoes every day, these are the things the government of Ghana needs to focus on,” he added.
Philip Azameti, one of the elders in the community said efforts being made to have a lasting solution to the problem were yet to yield results.
Togbui Binah Lawluvi VI, Paramout Chief of Ziope and former Council of State member during the launch of 2017 Agbleza of his people, appealed for a processing factory for the tomato growing area under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s “One District One Factory” project to benefit farmers and encourage young ones to stay and not migrate to other places in search of jobs.
He had on several occasions expressed worry over the situation which he said was to blame for the young ones leaving the area every time and feared the town risked becoming a ghost town.
By: Fred Duhoe/voltaonlinegh.com