Government would have to put together an immediate plan to process perishable crops to save the country millions of cedis.
This is according to USAID Initiative, the Ghana Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement Project (ADVANCE PROJECT).
As high as 50 percent of produce such as tomatoes, mangoes, pineapple and banana rot away annually after harvesting, due to the countries’ inability to store and process them.
Programme and Country Representative for Advance Project, Dr. Emmanuel Dormon explained that post-harvest losses will increase if government fails to provide cold storage facilities for the crops when they are in season.
“If at the time of harvest we are not ready to market because there is little processing and few appropriate storage facilities for such perishables. There is almost no processing of tomatoes in this country. So you go to the north, the Pwalugu area, they produce under irrigation and yet they cannot sell, not at the price that is good for them,” Dr. Dormon explained.
According to Dr. Dorman, governments over the years, have built all kinds of storage facilities in various locations in this country, however, a lot of these facilities lie idle as they are not accessible to farmers.
“They look at how much it cost them to farm, then pay for the storage and then pay for transportation as well. So they don’t see the incentive to store their produce.”
He added that there are too many farmers with little produce such that the storage facilities are mostly not filled.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Pre-harvest event organized by the USAID and supported by Agrihouse, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Kosmos Energy, Yara and World Food Programme will be held in the Northern Region.
The event is an annual programme used to promote business partnerships among value chain actors, especially farmers, buyers, processors, transporters and input dealers among others.
This year’s event which is a three day programme is on the theme ‘Agribusiness in Northern Ghana, the Future Starts Now.
Some of the activities lined up for the 8th Pre-harvest include exhibitions, Dialogue and Networking Sessions, Training, Field demonstrations and Farm tours.
By Nana Oye Ankrah/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana.