Tamale, Feb. 16, GNA – Farmers in the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo district of the Northern Region have expressed concern about the use of bowls by traders to weigh cereals to their advantage when buying from farmers.
Mr Henry Konlaan Moidiibi, the Executive Director of Manful-Piinu Farmers (MaFA) Association who expressed the concern in Tamale, explained that traders were using bowls of different sizes to cheat the farmers.
He said the use of bowls to weigh cereals was not alien to farmers but the continuous use of different bowls as well as the traders using their arms to support the bowls must be stopped, saying, ‘The best modern practice is the use of scale, which is accepted worldwide’.
Mr Moidiibi expressed the concern in Tamale on Monday during a stakeholder dialogue to see how best the practice of using bowls to measure cereals otherwise known as ‘Bowl scales’ could be stopped and to encourage the use of scales in selling to avoid cheating.
The BUSAC funded programme brought together the Northern Regional Directors of the Food and Agriculture, Ghana Standards Authority, Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National President of the Peasant Farmers’ Association.
He said the practice, which had been in Ghana since creation needed to stop to encourage the use of scales for weighing for farmers to benefit from their sweat.
He explained that a bag of cereals, which contained approximately 40 bowls are sometimes reduced to as low as 34 bowls when sent to the market depending on the bowl and the size of the trader’s arms, and that, husbands were not taken it lightly when their wives returned with meager sales.
Mr Moidiibi appealed to all authorities and stakeholders concerned in ensuring that traders adhered to the standard measurements to play their roles well to help farmers benefit from their produce.
Mr Isaac Nii Trebi Hamond, the Northern Regional Officer of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) said the weights and measures decree of 1975 mandates every trader to adhere to an agreed way of measurements and that the law was still working.
He advised farmers to reject the practice where the arm is supported to weigh the cereals, which he described as a way of cheating the farmer and that they should not hesitate to report traders who try to cheat them.
Mr Braimah Sanjage of BUSAC, the accredited service provider, said it was necessary for farmer groups to come together to sell their produce instead of selling individually, which results in the perceived cheating of the farmer.
He said the law of weights and measures decree of 1975 needed amendments and that plans were far advanced to meet the Parliamentary Select Committees on Agriculture and Trades and Industries to see how best the law could be amended to avoid cheating the system.
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