Home   >   Business   >   Business News   >   201912
Tomato Farmers Cry Over Low Sales Due To Importation From Burkina Faso   
 
  << Prev  |  Next >>
 
24-Dec-2019  
Comments ( 0 )     Email    Print
       
 
 
 
 
Related Stories
 
The continuous importation of millions of dollars’ worth of fresh tomatoes from neighbouring Burkina Faso into Ghana, is taking a huge toll on tomato farmers in the country.

The Federation of Tomato Growers Association at Tuobodom in the Techiman North Municipality of the Bono East Region, which produces a chunk of tomatoes, says its members are recording low sales due to the excessive importation.

The farmers are worried they may not be able to repay loans acquired to expand their farms. Tomato production in Ghana is not any different from most parts of the world considering that tomato as a vegetable is used in almost every meal preparation globally.

Farmers stand to gain significantly from the crop if they cultivate it the right way. But despite having the right soil and seasons for the cultivation of tomatoes to meet local demand and for export, Ghana has not tapped the full potential of this food crop.

Records from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture show that in 2017, Ghana imported some 75,000 tons of tomatoes to meet domestic demand. Majority of this comes from neighbouring Burkina Faso.

In May 2018, it emerged that Ghana was losing approximately $99.5 million to Burkina Faso through the importation of fresh tomatoes annually. While Ghana imported 90 per cent of fresh tomatoes produced in Burkina Faso, the remaining 10 per cent is consumed between that country and La Cote D’Ivoire.

The Ghana National Tomatoes Traders and Transporters Association, expressed worry about this and its impact on local farmers.

According to the Association, the Burkinabe government, unlike the government of Ghana, had created the enabling environment with the necessary incentives in place for researchers and farmers, citing that the country started with only seven dams but currently has 87 to boost the fresh tomato farming industry.

But in Ghana, government only continues to make promises to grow the sector. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture says it is looking to end the importation of tomatoes through the expansion of irrigation projects and the use of mechanization to help boost production.

The continuous importation of millions of dollars’ worth of fresh tomatoes from neighbouring Burkina Faso into Ghana, is taking a huge toll on tomato farmers in the country.

The Federation of Tomato Growers Association at Tuobodom in the Techiman North Municipality of the Bono East Region, which produces a chunk of tomatoes, says its members are recording low sales due to the excessive importation.

The farmers are worried they may not be able to repay loans acquired to expand their farms. Tomato production in Ghana is not any different from most parts of the world considering that tomato as a vegetable is used in almost every meal preparation globally.

Farmers stand to gain significantly from the crop if they cultivate it the right way. But despite having the right soil and seasons for the cultivation of tomatoes to meet local demand and for export, Ghana has not tapped the full potential of this food crop.

Records from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture show that in 2017, Ghana imported some 75,000 tons of tomatoes to meet domestic demand. Majority of this comes from neighbouring Burkina Faso.

In May 2018, it emerged that Ghana was losing approximately $99.5 million to Burkina Faso through the importation of fresh tomatoes annually. While Ghana imported 90 per cent of fresh tomatoes produced in Burkina Faso, the remaining 10 per cent is consumed between that country and La Cote D’Ivoire.

The Ghana National Tomatoes Traders and Transporters Association, expressed worry about this and its impact on local farmers.

According to the Association, the Burkinabe government, unlike the government of Ghana, had created the enabling environment with the necessary incentives in place for researchers and farmers, citing that the country started with only seven dams but currently has 87 to boost the fresh tomato farming industry.

But in Ghana, government only continues to make promises to grow the sector. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture says it is looking to end the importation of tomatoes through the expansion of irrigation projects and the use of mechanization to help boost production.

Tomato cultivation is the major occupation of residents of Tuobodom in the Techiman North Municipality of the Bono East Region.

There are currently over 6,000 residents engaged in tomato farming. Though the farming season has been generally good this year, the farmers say the produce is going waste due to low sales; a situation they blame on the huge importation of tomatoes especially from Burkina Faso.

A box of tomatoes, which used to sell at 500 cedis, is now selling between 80-100 cedis.

“I cultivated three acres, and we are going through many challenges. You can see that I am having ripped tomatoes, but they would pass us and go to Ouagadougou for tomatoes. For over a month now, we have not harvested our produce. We are calling on government to stop them from going to Burkina for tomatoes. If not, we cannot pay the loan we have secured. I took a loan of 8 thousand cedis, how can I pay back? I am calling on government to come and help us because we are suffering”, a female tomato farmer lamented.

“We have worked hard and harvest is good; but we are not getting buyers. For the past two to three weeks, l haven’t even harvested one box. The tomato is nice, but the sun is destroying it. We have tomatoes in Ghana, so if we go outside to buy tomatoes then what are we doing to ourselves? I took a loan of 20 thousand cedis; if the cars come I would be able to pay some. It’s a six acre farm and l don’t have even 3 thousand cedis, another farmer said.

Some tricycle riders who cart the tomatoes from the farms to the markets have also been affected by the low sales.

“When we go to cart the tomatoes, we charge 20 cedis per trip, but because of the low sales, we now take 5 cedis. We have to have to consider the farmers” a tricycle rider said.

“It is affecting us the tricycle riders because after carting they cannot pay. I transported some tomatoes and the farmer was to pay me 160 cedis; but he could not pay so he gave me 60 cedis. The cars that are not coming to buy are really affecting us. I buy fuel of 20 cedis and come here; and at the end of the day I don’t get anything” another tricycle rider lamented.

The Chairman of the Tuobodom Federation of Tomato Growers Association, Baffour Awuah, wants government to establish a tomato factory in the community to address this problem.


 
 
 
 

Comments ( 0 ): Post Your Comments >>

 
 
 
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.
 
 
Featured Video