By Ellsamwise King on December 6, 2018
Ghana has begun the export of plantain to Burkina Faso and different nations within the West African sub-region.
The bumper harvest of plantain, the quantity three meals crop in Ghana, after yam and cassava, has resulted within the export of the produce from Agogo and its environs to Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire.
A go to by the Day by day Graphic to Agogo revealed the booming plantain enterprise happening there.
The great rains this yr have accounted for a very good yield of plantain, and particularly within the Agogo space the curtailment of the menace of nomadic herdsmen has accounted for the great yield.
The actions of the nomadic herdsmen and their cattle prior to now had constrained farmers within the Asante Akyem North District within the Ashanti Area from finishing up their farming actions.
The nomadic herdsmen, principally armed, terrorised farmers, killed a few of them and raped ladies, whereas their cattle destroyed the farms in areas resembling Asante Akyem, Afram Plains and elements of the Volta Area.
The federal government’s intervention, by means of intensification of the “Operation Cowleg” and the institution of ranches within the Afram Plains, resulted in nomadic herdsmen confining their cattle to the fodder banks.
Maame Krobo street
Apart from that, the development of the 75-kilometre street from Agogo to Maame Krobo within the Afram Plains has inspired many farmers to go into plantain farming on the plains, as an alternative of the earlier follow of farming solely within the forest areas.
For example, the Akyeamehene of Agogo, Nana Boakye Yiadom, advised the Day by day Graphic that hitherto, farmers have been concentrating plantain cultivation within the forest areas, however via the instrumentality of the Omanhene of Agogo, Nana Akuoko Sarpong, who satisfied them that plantain farming would achieve success on the plains, they determined to give it a attempt.
That, he stated, had opened up the street to the Afram Plains, saying that, by the way, Nana Akuoko Sarpong personally launched the Agogo individuals to the planting of plantain on the plains.
“Originally, they didn’t know that they could grow plantain on the plains. They thought that they could grow plantain only in the forest areas. So Nana Akuoko Sarpong encouraged them and they took up that challenge up,” the Akyeamehene stated.
He stated the development of the street had opened the place for farming and it had now develop into a centre for the manufacturing of plantain.
He stated Nana Akuoko Sarpong additionally satisfied the people who there was no want to transfer to Accra, since they might keep at residence and think about farming within the space.
The Queenmother of plantain sellers within the Agogo space, Nana Akosua Tawiah, for her entrepreneurship spirit within the plantain enterprise, lately gained the Asantehene’s Greatest Lady Entrepreneur award. She has consequently gone forward to put up a 48-bedroom house for the Presby College in Agogo.
“Agogo is now a booming town,” Nana Yiadom stated.
Farmers within the Agogo space at the moment are excited concerning the improvement, compelling them to discover new markets for plantain outdoors Ghana to keep away from a glut on the Ghanaian market.
For a few years up to now, Ghana imported plantain from Cote d’Ivoire and greens from the Sahel area.
Though Ghana nonetheless imports tomatoes and onions from the Sahel area, officers of the Ministry of Meals and Agriculture say strikes are underway to finish the importation.
Figures usually are not available on the amount of plantain that has been exported to Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and different nations to date, however data in Agogo present that seven huge vans of plantain depart the city for Burkina Faso on a weekly foundation.
In accordance to a Meals and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) survey in 2006, plantain contributed about 13.1 per cent of the agricultural gross home product (AGDP) and per capita annual consumption of 101.8kg per head in Ghana.
The plant belongs to the non-traditional sector of the agricultural financial system, the place it’s used primarily to present shade for cocoa. It’s also an integral part of the food regimen and generates appreciable employment.
Plantain merchants have been dealing with safety challenges whereas transporting plantain to Burkina Faso, as an example, as a few of their automobiles get impounded on the best way.
The bumper harvest has additionally created job alternatives for labourers and drivers who’ve discovered brisk enterprise on Agogo market days.
The labourers, notably ladies, type the plantain and minimize the bunches into single items to be packed into sacks for the native market, whereas the lads load the bunches onto the vans.
Tricycle riders, in any other case generally known as ‘aboboya’, are additionally having a area day, as they assist in conveying the produce from the farms to the market or from the houses of the farmers to the marketplace.
The brisk enterprise has prompted the Asante Akyem North District Safety Council to liaise with the Ghanaian Embassy in Burkina Faso to facilitate the straightforward passage of Ghanaian vans to Burkina Faso to allow the merchants to ply their commerce with none hindrance.
The Asante Akyem North District Coordinating Director, Mr Johnson Nyarko, advised the Every day Graphic that although it was the merchants themselves who discovered the marketplace for the produce, the meeting had to are available to streamline their actions and additionally clear up the safety issues they have been dealing with.
In accordance to him, the meeting had been in a position to group the merchants so as to regulate and regularise their actions and additionally guarantee the security of their merchandise.
He stated to regulate the market, two teams of merchants had been shaped and “they have a quota to export every week. If you are not a member of the group, there is no way you can export to Burkina Faso. You need to join a group”.
That, he stated, had additionally enabled the meeting to have an concept concerning the amount of plantain exported to Burkina Faso.
“And so far, with the agreement, everything is moving smoothly,” he stated.
He, nevertheless, added that “this is not the first time the traders are exporting to Burkina Faso. They started this about four years ago but this year has seen an increase in the volume of the produce due to the bumper harvest as result of the good rains”.
One other contributory issue to the bumper harvest, in accordance to him, was the success of the ‘Operation Cowleg’, which drove away shut to 50,000 cattle, thereby making certain that farmers had the liberty to attend to their farms and not endure any assault from the herdsmen and their cattle.
One of many exporters, Ms Elisabeth Gyamfuaa, advised the Every day Graphic that the Burkina Faso market had actually offered them with an avenue to promote their produce, because the native market was turning into flooded with the produce.
Regardless that the Burkinabe market was additionally turning into flooded with the produce, she stated, plantain nonetheless had a greater worth there than on the native market.
She stated whereas prior to now the merchants there awaited the consignment with prepared money, “now we have to wait for them to finish selling before paying us to return home and we can spend close to a week there, depending on how fast the market moves”.
It was a special story for Akosua Pokuah from Accra. She stated the abundance of plantain was making a few of them run at a loss, as they have been compelled to scale back the worth to allow them to promote and keep in enterprise.
However the losses, she stated, one couldn’t simply sit idle and determine not to commerce in it once more “because we have a clientele to maintain and also bills to pay and there is no help coming from anywhere”.
One of many business farmers in Agogo, Issifu Azunga, advised the Every day Graphic that despite the fact that his farm didn’t endure the menace of the Fulani herdsmen, the success of Operation Cowleg was partly answerable for the bumper harvest being skilled this yr.
In addition to, he stated, the local weather of the world was additionally conducive for plantain farming and that the soil didn’t require fertiliser to produce the crops.
For Rose from Hwidiem, close to Agogo, a peasant farmer, the actions of economic farmers have been significantly affecting the peasant farmers who didn’t have the assets to domesticate giant tracts of land.
She stated peasant farmers weren’t in a position to get good costs for his or her produce, because the business farmers had taken over the market and didn’t thoughts decreasing the worth.
She complained that although the produce of peasant farmers was more healthy and devoid of any chemical compounds, “we do not get the price the commercial farmers get for their produce. Now it is the buyer who determines the price. That is the dilemma in which we find ourselves”.
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