18.05.2005 Regional News

Farmer suggests use of weighing scale for marketing of produce

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Domeabra (Ash), May 18, GNA - A suggestion has been made to the Government to introduce and educate farmers on the use of weighing scales in the marketing of their produce.

Nana Kwaku Siaw, Second National Best Farmer for 2004, who made the suggestion, said the use of weighing scales in the marketing of farm produce would not only help protect farmers, but also consumers, against exploitation by middlemen with respect to pricing of the commodity. Nana Kwaku Siaw made the suggestion at a one-day seminar on marketing skills, organised by Kumah Farms Complex at Domeabra on Tuesday for selected pre-urban farmers from the Kumasi Metropolitan Area.

Kumah Farms complex is a multi-purpose venture, mainly involved in the production of food crops, livestock, poultry and aquaculture. Nana Siaw said the current practice whereby farm produce were priced at the discretion of the buyer, was not the best since it only turns to thwart the efforts of farmers at increasing their production levels.

"The poor marketing system is equally a contributory factor that is making most of the energetic youth shy away from farming", he added. Nana Kwaku Siaw who is the Managing Director of Kumah Farms, lauded the Government for the various interventions and financial packages it put in place to assist farmers.

He however cautioned that these efforts might not yield the expected results if they don't get to the right beneficiaries, saying that most often loans meant for farmers under Government financial packages, either ended up "lining the pockets of people who are not farmers", or released to farmers at the wrong time.

Nana Kwaku Siaw proposed the involvement of officials of the Ministry of Agriculture in the screening and selection of farmers who should benefit from such government credit facilities, instead of leaving the exercise entirely to the financial institutions. He explained that since officials of the Ministry of Agriculture were those who dealt directly with farmers, they would be in the best of position to help ensure that the loans go to benefit committed and genuine farmers. 18 May 05

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