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While it may appear unbelievable at a glance, MyNewsGh.com can confirm that Ghana every single year pumps an amount of 457,700,000 Ghana cedis- the dollar equivalent of $99.5million or the CFA equivalent of 56 Billion- ‘freely’ into the economy of Burkina Faso as payment to that country for our import of fresh tomatoes from them.
MyNewsGh.com gleaned this information from Mr. Eric Osei Tuffuor, the Chairman of the Ghana National Tomatoes Traders and Transporters Association (GNTTTA).
The GNTTTA Chairman said the Burkinabe “Researchers” had consciously calculated and worked it for the country to gain that amount or more within the six months production period in a year being the planting, harvesting and marketing season of the commodity.
MyNewsGh.com learnt from Mr Tufuor that the Burkinabe government had created the enabling environment with the necessary and various incentives in place for their Researchers and farmers.
He also made the disclosure that Burkina Faso as a country started with only 7 dams but currently it has 87 to boost the fresh tomato farming industry- adding a whooping 80 extra dams.
Mr. Tuffuor was made most of these disclosures in a meeting of tomato farmers, traders and some executive members of the GNTTTA.
In attendance was Mr. George Oduro, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture at Tuobodom in the Techiman North District of Brong-Ahafo Region.
It was organised by the Assembly at the instance of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo following the farmers’ concern for government’s intervention for them to get stable and fair prices and ready market for the commodity.
MyNewsGh.com learnt that the reason Ghanaian tomato importers preferred to buy from Burkina Faso is because there has been a strong business link, collaboration and cooperation between the Burkinabe farmers and the importers.
Mr Tuffuor said those Burkinabe farmers allowed the importers from Ghana to accompany them to the farms to harvest and select the best quality for themselves.
He however expressed worry that beside other factors, it appeared the required levels of cooperation and understanding between the Ghanaian farmers and the traders to make the business thrive well for both parties “is lacking” here.
Mr Tuffuor advised the farmers to endeavour to follow modern trends in business by ensuring best fresh tomato farming practices for quality production urged them and the buyers to be honest with themselves and peacefully negotiate to agree on pricing of the product to avoid misunderstanding and its negative consequences.
As part of measures to obtain quality production, Mr Tuffuor suggested the need for the leadership of the association to be closer to the farmers by going to their farms “to see what and how the farmers are doing.
“The important thing is that we must do the right thing as a country because we want all the money for importation to remain in Ghana”, the GNTTTA Chairman said.