Post-harvest losses: Obuasi farmers lament lack of storage facilities
Some farmers in the Obuasi Municipality have expressed worry over lack of post-harvest storage facilities to store their produce.
The situation, according to them, is making it difficult to recoup their investments as they are compelled to sell their produce at cheaper prices during harvest time, to avoid deterioration.
The farmers expressed their frustration during a planning session organised by the Research Extension Farmer Linkages Committee (RELC) in Obuasi.
The Committee seeks to create a bridge between research, extension, farmers and agribusiness by encouraging active participation, enhance interaction and bring decision making in technology development and dissemination closer to farmers.
Representatives from the Municipal Assembly, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), farmers, researchers and traditional leaders attended the meeting.
Also highlighted by the farmers as some of the challenges were high cost of inputs such as fertilizers, weedicides, pesticides as well as bad roads linking their farms.
Dr Ernest Baafi, Ashanti Regional Coordinator of RELC said the low prices of produce at the farm gate, had resulted in high attrition rate, especially, among the youth in agricultural sector.
Income of farmers, he said, had drastically reduced over the years as they continued to reduce the price for their produce to avoid post-harvest losses.
DrBaafi was hopeful that the challenges enumerated by the farmers would be tackled at the policy level and assured them that his outfit would continue to conduct research into some of the solutions suggested by the farmers to find permanent solutions to the problems.
Mr Raphael Atta Peprah, the Municipal Director of Agriculture, said the session provided the opportunity to have first-hand information about the real problems facing the farmers.
He said the exercise had brought out homegrown measures needed to bring relief to farmers in the Obuasi Municipality.
He told the farmers that they could always seek technical assistance from his office in order to ensure best farming practices were adopted to improve their yield.
MrPeprah promised to work closely with the Municipal Assembly to find solutions to some of the problems farmers in the municipality were grappling with.
Madam Patricia Nuamah, a vegetable farmer expressed concern about how activities of illegal miners were negatively affecting their farming business with the pollution of water bodies, rendering them unwholesome for irrigation purposes. – GNA