The Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture,Mr Francis Ennor, has advised Ghanaian farmers to, as matter of urgency, undertake market survey to determine demand of products of commercial buyers and consumers before embarking upon agricultural production.
This, the Director noted, would not only enable the farmers to have a feel of the taste of the buyers and consumers but it would also empower them to establish smooth agreement with commercial buyers so as to produce accordingly to avoid post-production losses and poor sales.
The Regional Director who gave the advice when he addressed stakeholders in the agriculture value chain in Bolgatanga on Monday told farmers to see farming as a commercial venture.
“Farmingis a lucrative business andas Ghanaian farmers especially those of you in the Upper East Region need to see the occupation as such and invest strategically to make maximum profits and benefits” Mr Ennor stressed..
The engagement which brought together all the District Directors of the Department of Agriculture, farmers, processors, aggregators, buyers and producers among others was part of the efforts to create an enabling environment for enhancing and sustaining market linkages for farmers in the region.
It was also a follow up to a Regional Agribusiness Partnership (RABP) Platform established in 2020 by the Regional Department of Agriculture through the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme to facilitate market linkages among key stakeholders in the agriculture value chain.
It also afforded the platformfor expertise to share their experiences on revamping the production and marketing of products such as rice, maize, sorghum, soybeans and tomatoes among others.
The Regional Director indicated that agricultural commodity marketing remained crucial to ensuring increased production and income level of farmers and underscored the need for farmers to make a paradigm shift from producing anything to identifying market driven products.
“Over the years because market has not been sought by our farmers, they produce anything and think that if they send it to the market people will buy it and they normally make losses.
“For instance, a farmer produces certain type of maize and the buyer does not want that type of maize and you the farmer cannot add value to it you make losses, so our farmer need to shift from this trend, so at all times farmers need to establish who want what before going into production, so that you are sure of ready market,” he stressed.
The National President of the Peasant Framers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Mr Abdul-Rahman Mohammed, , lauded the efforts of the Department of Agriculture to address the challenges facing farmers and noted that the engagement would enable farmers produce to meet market demands.
The National President called on government to as matter of urgency implement and enforce policy direction to ensure that there was standard quantity of measurements for all agricultural products which has been a serious concern for farmers.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA