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03.02.2009 General News

Farmers asked to look beyond local market for increased earnings

By gna

Mr Roy Ayariga, Upper East Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, at the weekend observed that the economic circumstances of farmers in the region can improve significantly if they approach agriculture as a business rather than a mere way of life.

He said since time immemorial, the farmers produced only the food they needed for their household consumption and that in some cases they were compelled to sell the meagre harvest at the local market to meet their cash needs for funerals, festivals, school fees and other social commitments.

“With current global trends, however, agricultural production must target markets outside the village, town, and region, and even outside the country.

“We should no longer consider just what we eat but what other people in other regions or countries want but cannot produce.”

Mr Ayariga who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, stressed the importance for farmers in the region to meet the requisite quality standards, as well as the supply quantities, before they could access the international market.

“Farmers cannot access the European markets with beans full of weevils or rice full of stones, for instance,” he added.

The MOFA Director indicated that the Upper East Region was an area of immense agricultural potential, citing 'gum arabic', baobab fruit, and sheanuts.

He urged research scientists to work on the plantation approach of these and several other cash crops, as they command high value on the international market.

He assured farmers in the region of MOFA's support, and urged Municipal/District Assemblies in the area to pool resources and purchase shares to become co-owners of the Pwalugu Tomato Factory.

Source: GNA