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Friday, September 22, 2017

Tomato farmers at Afrancho in the Offinso North district have appealed for the installation of a processing plant to help them get good return on investment.
 The farmers said the situation where they are forced to sell large quantities of fresh tomatoes produced in the area at give-away price to prevent them from getting rotten is a major distinctive.

Mr.Thompson Afriyie, the assembly member who acted as their spokesman, said the farmers are not getting commensurate returns.
He said things need to radically change, to address the bottlenecks and improve their livelihood.
It is estimated that about 90,000 farmers are into tomato production in the country, with the majority of them concentrated at Afrancho and Akumadan in Offinso North and Techiman.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has again put the number of Ghanaians engaged in both the raw and processed tomato retail and wholesale trade at about 300,000.
Mr.Afriyie said it is on the basis of these significant figure that addressing the production challenges must become an urgent priority for government.
"Time is of the essence regarding the installation of processing plants,ensuring a ready market and exposing farmers to improved technologies", he said.
He also underlined the need to provide them access to credit and quality seeds,given the unreliable rainfall pattern.
Mr.Afriyie expressed anxiety that the area with its good ecological conditions for all year, tomato production could be forced to switch to the cultivation of other crops if the challenges are allowed to remain unsolved.There already exists a state-of-the-art irrigation facility to support all-year round production.