Give us factory and we will curb post-harvest loss – farmers to government

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Some farmers in the Ada-East and the south Tongu districts have called for measures to stem the perennial problem of post-harvest loses. The farmers said they were not happy that in spite of the cost of farm inputs most of them, especially those in the southern part of the country, finds it difficult to market their produce as most of the crops perish not long after harvest. They said since this  development was a disincentive to boosting the agriculture sector, the government should foster closer relationship with corporate bodies and stakeholders to evolve measures aimed at addressing the problem. The farmers expressed their concerns in a separate interview on their farms.A sweet pepper farmer, Mr. Gideon Kwao popularlly known as Sir Carton from the Volta region said last year many of the farmers suffered from post-harvest losses as a result of non-availability of ready market which affected their local economy soo badly. He said considering the perishable rate of tomatoes and other vegetable crops, there was the need to build storage facility to save the farmers from the hardships. He said it was high time measures were stepped up to establish fruit processing factories to process perishable goods. Mr. Emmanuel Akortia a general vegetable crops farmer from Adonorkope in the Ada-East district also called for the improvement of feeder roads to make it easy for farm produce to be carted to the markets after harvest. Sir Carton and Mr. Akortia who are both irrigation farmers admitted that some of their colleagues needs education on the application of chemicals since the wrong use of chemicals can also affect the products negativelly, they also called for an accurate weather forecast to aid planning. Both farmers who are using the Lalangui dam at Dordue korpe appealled to the government to build more irrigation dams in the country and press on the Electricity Company of Ghana to reduce tariffs on the cost of power consume by the power plants at dams. Sir Carton revealed that irrigation farmers at Dordue korpe are currently owing the Ada Branch of the Electricity Company of Ghana a debt of over Fourty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC40,000) which lead to a recent power cut. He said this occurred as a result of high cost of bills over the periods, as well as the post-harvest losses they suffered in the seasons. He has appealed to both the agriculture and the Energy ministers to come into their aid and write-off their debt at the Electricity Company in other for them to come back into active farming. There are currently about Two Hundred farmers doing irrigation farming on a Thousand plus acre of farm land at Dordue korpe using the Lalangui irrigation Dam before they were disconnected by the power suppliers.

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