Federation of Tomato Growers Association of Ghana (FETOGRASG) on Tuesday held a one day sensitization program for tomato farmers in Techiman, capital of Bono East Region.
The program attended by a number of farmers was aimed at soliciting for ideas in order to push for the government to supply the farmers with Burkina seedlings to boost tomato production in the country.
The program, funded and financed by Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) and supported by DANIDA and USAID, was under the theme ‘Rejuvenating the tomato industry through provision of certified and buyer desired variety seeds’.
Dr. John Akparep, consultant for the Association, called on the government to supply the farmers with the Burkina seedlings in an effort to ensure enhanced production of tomatoes in the country.
He explained that tomato buyers in the country travel to neighbouring Burkina Faso to purchase tomatoes due to its good quality and the situation had forced tomato growers to sell their fresh tomatoes at give-away prices to prevent them getting rotten and this was a major disincentive.
He stressed that the absence of the Burkina tomato seedlings was affecting the fortunes of members of the association who had cultivated large acres of the vegetable, “which does not last longer and this has boosted the importation of tomatoes into the country”
Mr Baffour Afrifa, Chairman of FETOGRASG, appealed to the government to provide the necessary support to the farmers to increase production of the Burkina tomatoes in the country.
He noted that some of the farmers use agro chemicals that serve different purposes in the production of tomatoes, which he said posed health risks to consumers.
Mr Afrifa called on the government to supply the farmers with specific agro chemicals meant for the production of tomatoes in order to avoid such health hazards.