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09.03.2006 Business & Finance

Sunflower growers assured of ready market

By GNA

Kumasi, March 09, GNA - The Sunflower Growers Association (SGA) on Thursday assured its members and other interested farmers that there is now a vibrant and ready market both locally and internationally for sunflower seeds.

They should therefore put the past frustrations behind them and go into large-scale cultivation of the crop.

Dr Joseph K. Twumasi, a retired Deputy Director of the Crops Research Institute (CRI) and a member of the association, said farmers would no more be disappointed because there was a guaranteed market for sunflower seeds in the country.

He was speaking at a press briefing in Kumasi to re-inaugurate the association and to inform its members and would-be members of the potential of the crop to revamp.

Dr Twumasi conceded that lack of ready market for the crop when it was first introduced made many farmers frustrated and abandoned its cultivation.

"The fears of the past are gone. Now there is a fixed price for the crop", and added that a farmer could get two million cedis per ton of the seed.

Dr Twumasi said currently, there were about 20 sunflower processing plants in the Ashanti Region but they are under-utilised due to lack of seeds in the system.

Mr Felix Owusu Akomea, National President of the association, said the crop had a brighter future for the nation but many people lacked knowledge on its potentials.

He said the association was working with the American Sunflower Association to supply it with high oil yielding content seeds for distribution to farmers.

Mr Akomea pledged the association's commitment to work and encourage farmers to plant the seeds until it became one of the leading income earners for both farmers and the nation. Mr J.K Ngissah, former National Co-ordinator of the defunct Ghana Sunflower Association, urged the farmers to put the past behind and take advantage of the new opportunities to go into sunflower cultivation. 08 March 06

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