The Upper East Regional Department of Agriculture has assured vegetable farmers in the Bolgatanga Municipality and its environs of its commitment to address the marketing challenges they are facing.
This was after the vegetable farmers lodged a complaint of poor market for their products coupled with few buyers taking advantage of their vulnerability and inability to get buyers.
The farmers said the buyers associations that patronize their products to sell in the Ashanti Region, had taken control of the market including; determining the prices of the products and who comes to buy the products.
The Chairman of the Bolgatanga Vegetable Farmers Association, Joseph Adongo Aguure, said the buyers had threatened potential buyers who were not in their association not to buy directly from the farmers.
He complained that the buyers insist that people who wanted to purchase the vegetables from the farmers must be members of their association.
Mr Aguure alleged that the buyers most of the time did not buy all their produce making the rest go bad while in some instances they bought the produce on credit and did not settle their debts, making the farmers suffer losses.
At a stakeholders’ dialogue in Bolgatanga, the Regional Extension Officer, Zimi Alhassan, who gave the assurance on behalf of Francis Ennor, the Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, said steps had been taken to tackle the challenge.
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He noted that the department would engage all relevant stakeholders to chat a way forward to ensure that the vegetable farmers did not only get a good market for their produce but to also ensure that they increased production.
The National President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Abdul-Rahman Mohammed, noted that the vegetable farmers needed to be united and register with the PFAG.
He explained that PFAG was the mother body of all farmer groups and had over the years engaged with major stakeholders to address challenges confronting them.
He said in 2020 the PFAG engaged major stakeholders including; buyers to agree on specific prices for rice produced at the Mamprugu-Moagduri District, which led to the buying of rice at the right prices.
Mr Mohammed assured the vegetable farmers of the support of PFAG to work to help address the challenges.
He said the PFAG would help the farmers secure markets before they went into production.