Minister bemoans post harvest loses in butternut squash production
Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, has expressed discontent over post harvest losses incurred by farmers in last year’s butternut squash production.
The Minister got to know about the loses when he visited Jirapa district in the Upper West Region, where the butternut squash production project is located.
During a meeting with heads of department of the Agric Ministry in the district, the Minister also learned about other challenges farmers were facing.
According to the District Director for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), a group of 25 farmers in Gbetuor in the district were affected in the second shipment phase of the butternut squash harvest.
He explained that the shipment of the produce was to be done in two phases with the second one not materializing after Africa Plus One Investment Limited, a marketing firm for the Savanah Accelerated Development Agency (SADA) failed to ship the produce.
Africa Plus One Investment explained they will not be able to ship the second consignment of the butternut squash since the produce was also in season in the European countries – the major market.
The problem was also compounded by the fact that there was no ready market for the produce in Ghana, as most people do not know how to utilize them locally.
Most farmers lost a lot of money as a result the situation.
The Regional Minister assured the farmers he will lead efforts to bring the attention of all stakeholders involved in the project on their plight in order to prevent a recurrence of the post harvest loses.
He also noted that the education in the district needed to be transformed to make it more effective.
Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh explained that the “motive behind [his] visit was to get close to the people”, adding he would repeat such visits to other districts frequently.
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