31.03.2005 General News

MOFA organises farmers' market

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Tarkwa, (W/R), March 31, GNA - The Wassa West District office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has organised its second edition of Farmers' Market at Tarkwa.

The programme received a low turn out from both farmers and the general public, some of whom said they were not aware of the event. According to Mr Winfred Adjei-Attacheey, Chief Technical Officer of the district, most of the farmers were given wrong information by their middlemen, who thought their business would collapse as a result of such markets and so advised the farmers not to bring in their produce. Mr Adjei-Attacheey said most of the farmers already have their middlemen, who purchase their produce on continuous bases and as such, did not want the relationship between them to be strained as a result of one such programme.

He said another problem was lack of transportation, because the few farmers who were willing to come to the market did not get transport to cart their goods to the Farmer's Market.

"Planning of the programme was also done in haste". He said. Mr Adjei-Attacheey suggested that there should be a careful planning for such an event with direct involvement of the farmers themselves to fix a day that would be convenient to them. Mrs Kate Amoa-Darkwa, a deputy director of MOFA admitted that the organisation of the programme had been poor, because of lack of funds. She said there were no cars to bring in the farmers and the few drivers who went on the trips charged them exorbitantly. Mrs Amoa-Darkwa assured the farmers of the government's support because such programmes were in line with the government policy to help them sell their produce at better prices and deal directly with consumers rather than the market queens.

Some of the farmers decried the poor prices offered them by the middlemen and appealed to the organisers to organise the programme on monthly bases to enable them deal directly with consumers. They also appealed for soft loans from the banks to boost their moral to work harder.

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