Both commercial and small holders farmers at Atebubu- Amanteng municipal,Ejura municipal, Techiman South and Nkoranza south Municipals : the country largest producers of quality maize, has unanimously rescind their decision to reduce production following well timed intervention of the respective Municipal Chief Executives by passing a resolution that makes it illegal to trade with OVERSIZED SACKS.
Now, the only accepted sacks to be use is the ‘SIZE 4 Sacks’
“Any one caught using the ‘Size 5 sacks’ would be made to pay a penalty of GH10 per bag instantly. ” Hon. Atiso, Chairman of a market committee.
These MCEs were compelled to intervene collectively due to the incessant calls, demands and threats by the farmers who felt that, activities of traders and their middlemen upsurges their existing challenges.
Prior to the intervention, the farmers had threatened to significantly cut down production due to the fact that they were being cheated by traders who buys their produces.
“We took that decision because, we don’t have good prices at the market, the traders dictate the prices for us”. A farmer at Ejura explained.
The farmers also argued value for money.
“We will suffer for soo many months in the farm and after bringing the produce home, the trader would only come and scooped all our sweat and give you something meager, which we think is worthless now being a farmer. So, we had planned to leave our farms, concentrate on subsistence farming, and invest into other ventures”. Nkoranza Farmers added.
Farmers accused traders and their middlemen of buying their produces with OVER SIZED SACKS.
In addressing these litany of complains, the market committees formed an adhoc commitee in the various assemblies to among other things, look into and keep tabs on the activities of traders in the market most especially, maize traders.
The work of the adhoc committee in all the four(4) municipalities indicted the middlemen.
“We found that the middlemen exploit both the farmers and the retailers. The middlemen will buy the produces directly from the farmers with OVERSIZED SACKS otherwise known as the ‘size 5’ sacks and sell it to the retailers in the mini sacks”. The Secretary of a market committee at Ejura municipal, Honorable Njoukoneh Mattew reported.
Mr. Aboagye Peter who spoke on behalf of the MCE for Ejura said, the intervention was necessary to boosts farmers confidence in the newly appointed MCE. He added that, the biggest challenges to the farmers in the area is the accessibility to tractors to plough their farms and also to farm inputs.
It is against these background that the MCE “barely some few months” has been able to secure some tractors through the Public Private Partnership agreement with a reputable company. The agreement also include providing farm inputs for farmers, and to further completely seize the middlemen from exploiting the farmers, the company would buy the produces from the farmers directly. Mr. Peter(Piero) continued.
Farmers at the various municipals are happy but hoping the intervention be sustained.
“I personally, I’m very happy with the change but I believe it is not a political decision”. A commercial Farmer at Techiman south opined.
“This is what we are all looking for, it least, now we farm with the hope that at the end we will get something to support our lives”. A group of small holders farmers at Atebubu told this writer.
However, checks at all the four municipals have it that, since the passage of the resolution, there have been a reduction in maize commerce with a lot of agitation from the middlemen.
“Our customers are making losses so we are losing them” Imoro is a middleman at Amanteng.
Available reports shows that the four(4) municipals, is Ghana’s largest producers of maize and a little reduction would be a big blow to the nations economy.
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