The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu, has stated that Ghana will soon stop importing tomatoes from Burkina Faso.
He said the region is currently producing 20 to 30 per cent of the country’s tomato demand but expressed optimism that it will increase to 55 per cent by the end of 2023.
“As we speak now, the market women are buying tomatoes from the region and we plan to completely stop people from sending those huge sums of money to another country,” he emphasized.
The Regional Minister announced this at the official inauguration of the Business Farmers Association of Ghana (BUFAG) in Bolgatanga.
He said the current success stories of tomato production in the region are a result of BUFAG’s collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) which has culminated in the supply of seedlings.
Mr Yakubu further disclosed that the supply of seedlings to the farmers is being piloted in five districts but added that necessary steps are being taken to include more districts.
The Minister stated that a boom in agriculture can go a long way to address the recent depreciation of the cedi that has brought adverse implications on the economy.
“As a region, we are privileged to be endowed with arable land and water resources for agricultural productivity,” he stated.
He commended the members of BUFAG, stating that the association is in sync with the President’s vision of collaborating with the private sector, which the government recognizes as the driver of the economy.
The Chairman of BUFAG, Prof Joseph K. Laary, disclosed that the association is currently made up of 200 members from the Upper East and North East Regions.
The objective of the association, he said, is to harness farmers’ collective might and adopt best practices and technologies to sustain and increase agricultural productivity.
He added that the association is also concerned about post-harvest management issues and marketing of their products to improve the socio-economic well-being of its members.
Bala Ali, ISD
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