There is a bumper harvest for tomato growers in parts of the country but the farmers are unhappy because of what they describe as ‘a perennial glut situation’.
Lack of processing facilities and limited outlets to dispose off their produce has resulted in the under-pricing of the commodity.
Chairman of the National Tomato Traders and Transporters Association (NTTTA), Eric Osei-Tuffour, said the excess production, which far outstrips demand, has imposed a huge burden on the farmers.
He tells Luv FM most farmers are now battling with huge debts after contracting loans from financial institutions to expand their farms.
“Some acquired two thousand Ghana cedis and others one thousand. Even one farmer said he has not been able to pay anything out of the loan he acquired, so it’s a very big problem, they are crying,” Mr. Osei-Tuffour decried.
He said tomato growers are being compelled to allow their harvested vegetable to rot on their farms because it is not profitable transporting the produce to the market centres.
According to Mr. Osei-Tuffour “they travel from Bechem, Techimantia, Akomadan, Derma and Dormaa Ahenkro to get a vehicle to cart their crops but they don’t get anything from this”.
A box of tomatoes which they expected to sell between eight and ten Ghana cedis is currently bought below six Ghana cedis.
Mr. Osei-Tuffour wants an immediate government intervention to salvage the situation.
“The Pwalugu factory is now ready for processing, so I think with immediate solution that factory can help and later on they can build ‘small small’ storage facilities in markets and farming communities. Very soon we are entering the lean season and we’ll be travelling to Burkina Faso to import tomatoes whilst some are here getting rotten”, the NTTTA Chairman noted.