Business News of Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Cassava from more than 100 acres of farmlands is lost annually at Mafi Adiekpe in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region as a result of the absence of modern processing facilities.
In the farming community of about 1,500 residents, cassava is the main source of employment for residents.
Men grow the crop whiles women process them into ‘gari’ using traditional technology for sale.
But community leaders say out of the more than 200 acres of land they produce cassava on each year, less than half are beneficial to them.
“We can’t process all because we don’t have the machine. We use our manual strength…and some go rotten. Sometimes if we uproot it plenty, some go rotten before we finish peeling it…And we find it difficult to pay our children’s school fees,” a farmer told Joy news’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo when he visited the community.
An opinion leader in the community, Lukotome Emmanuel who has been farming for more than 30 years told Joy News last year was one of the worst years of his career.
“I could have gotten 20 bags of gari but because of the loss, I got only 10 because the rest of the cassava got rotten. I lost over 2000 cedis. And I am wondering where to get money for our farming activities this year,” he explained.
The farmers called on government to support them with modern tools and implements for processing the cassava they harvest.
The community also has very poor roads which make access to markets difficult, Gakpo reports.
Assembly member for the area, Julius Karl Fieve called on government to help fix the roads so food can easily get to market centers from the community.