Tomato Farmers at Kamgbunli appeal to government for factory

The Tomato Farmers Association at Kamgbunli in the Ellembelle District has appealed to the government to establish a tomato factory in the area.

The Association claimed that tomato had become a major crop in addition to cocoa and rubber of the Kamgbunli community, yet farmers could not reap the fruits of their labour due to the perishable nature of the vegetable.

Mr. Shaibu Issa, Secretary to the Steering Committee of the Tomato Farmers Association when members of the committee took the media round some of the tomato farms at Old Kamgbunli.

He disclosed that a chunk of the tomato fruits usually perished due to lack of ready market.

Mr. Issa said the farmers had been grouped into four and given days to harvest ripe tomato fruits on their farms on specific days in the week.

He said with the establishment of a small factory, the farmer groups could harvest ripe tomato fruits in abundance to feed the factory.

The Secretary said tomato farming had improved the well-being of farmers in the community most of w
hom were predominantly women and told journalists that another major problem facing the farmers was inaccessible and poor roads leading to their farmlands, making it difficult for the farmers to cart their produce from the farm to the market centres.

He appealed to the government and other spirited bodies and investors to come to the aid of the farmers to give tomato farming a major boost.

The Developmental Chief of Kamgbunli, Mr. Ali Nuhu Abeka said, ‘though Agriculture is considered as the mainstay of Ghana’s, many problems in the sector was not making the country actualize gains’.

He said in the Kamgbunli community, tomatoes continue to go waste due to lack of ready market and storage facilities among other challenges.

Mr. Nuhu Abeka said some of the farmers were even contemplating quitting farming even though that is all they have and reiterated the need for farmers in the area to get a mini factory to process their products to make Agriculture more lucrative ‘since successive governments have abandon
ed over 80 acres of inland valley rice field.’

He said with a population of 5,000, about 700 of the population were actively engaged in organic tomato farming.

A tomato farmer, Madam Mariama Osman, said their forebearers went into rice farming but could not change their fortunes.

‘We have decided to venture into tomato farming as it is lucrative enough and can cater for our children in school,’ he added.

She said the nematodes were seriously affecting tomato production.

Mr. Dauda Musah, the Assembly Member of Kamgbunli, said he, together with the committee, would fashion out strategies to seek external support.

Source: Ghana News Agency