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Business News of Thursday, 26 September 2019


Women in Agriculture advocate for standardised scale use

Group of farmers at the forum with Mrs Gladys Serwaa Adusah Group of farmers at the forum with Mrs Gladys Serwaa Adusah

Women in agriculture in the Bono East Region have called for the use of scale and standardised measurement of farm produce at all markets in the country to make farming very attractive and profitable business.

The use of weight and measurements, according to the farmers, would bring about equal pricing of farm produce everywhere from the farm gates to the markets, increase farmers’ income from sales and also contribute to proper record keeping.

The call was made at a one-day stakeholder’s advocacy dialogue held on Tuesday at Techiman, the regional capital.

It was attended by people of diverse backgrounds, including staff of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), traditional rulers, women farmers and traders from Atebubu, Nkoranza and Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

The forum, on the theme “Operationalising the Use of Standard Sales Weight and Measures in Sale and Purchase of Farm Produce in Bono Region”, was sponsored by the German Association of Rural Women, a German-based non-governmental organisation.

Mrs. Gladys Serwaa Adusah, a farmer and leader of the Farmers Organisation Network Ghana, based in Accra, stressed the need for government to promote modernised agriculture that cuts across board for greater impact on national economic growth.

She therefore appealed to stakeholders to increase advocacy for government to pass a law for the use of scale (weights and measurements) for farm produce from the farm gate, through to the retailing point, to enable all those in the value chain to have stable prices and reliable source of income.

Mrs. Adusah expressed regret that farmers were mostly the poorest within the value chain because of the “unacceptable prices” offered for their produce, saying that, the situation did not contribute effectively to improve on revenue mobilization for national development.

Against this background, she said their network had embarked on “No Scale No Selling” campaign to inform government to institute the use of scale because “we spend a lot of capital and man power on our farms but the wholesalers and traders do not give us fair and acceptable prices for our produce”.

Mrs. Adusah explained the situation “is a major contributory factor making agriculture unattractive to the youth”, despite the fact that government was making strenuous effort to make farming one of the nation’s lucrative industries.

Hajia Salamatu Aremeyaw, a maize dealer and chairperson of ‘Gye Nyame’ Maize Sellers Association at the Techiman market, affirmed that many farmers were losing interest in the farming business, not only in the Bono East but nationwide.

She alleged that it was because traders always devised dubious means to cheat the farmers, lamenting that, “the situation is totally discouraging because the buyers dictate the price”.

Hajia Aremeyaw cited foe example that, “imported rice come with weight and prices which is equal everywhere and that was contributing to a very good and profitable rice business”.

Mrs. Comfort Gyamfuaa, a yam farmer emphasised that the buyers from Accra treat them unfairly because “10 tubers are added free to every 100 tubers of yam bought”, stressing “that notwithstanding, the price is not the best and that is killing farming spirit”.

Mr. Martin Oti Gyarko, the Deputy Bono East Regional Minister and Member of Parliament for Techiman North, assured that the Regional Coordinating Council would communicate their request to government for the necessary action.