The unavailability of white collar jobs in the country has forced many youth into farming. The agribusiness, though lucrative, can be sometimes challenging as post harvest losses often leave the enthusiasts with nothing. Such is the sorry state of farmers who venture into tomato farming in Anloga District and its enclaves.
Farmers in the Anloga District (mostly the youth) begin planting tomatoes in the months of July and August. In the Anloga District, most of the farmers use the irrigation system since water supply is very important, especially in the dry season. There is no denying the fact that this is an expensive venture. The most critical time for ample soil moisture is during bloom and early fruiting stages. Although more than enough fresh tomatoes are produced in Ghana, the Anloga District has the highest tomato cultivation rate in the country based on crop output per area.
A total of 2,690 farmers cultivate tomatoes on an average farm size of 0.2 hectares. Their yields per year are 10,867 tons with a market price of GH¢ 2.00/kg. These successes notwithstanding, have always given the farmers headache during harvest periods. Checks done by rymcitigh reveals that the situation may not be different this year as farmers ready themselves.
Post-harvest losses from tomatoes range from 30 to 50 per cent annually in the district. This is because,some of the youth from the area who serve as middlemen between the farmers and buyers(mostly from Ada, Accra and Kumasi) tend to frustrate the farmers in terms of pricing the produce even though they did not do the cultivation.
To be able to curb this menace, the farmer associations in the district must be in charge of negotiating with the buyers to prevent the middlemen from seeking their own parochial interest.
Also, the farmers are calling on the authorities to help them reduce post harvest losses since a lot is spent during the cultivation. Anything to help prevent spoilage and wastage during this period is all that they desire.