In the Ziope Traditional Area, in Ghana's Volta Region, many farmers are growing tomatoes and the industry is an important source of revenue. However, this year's season had been one of the worst in about a decade.
Locals lamented their inability to get buyers for their produce as their harvest period coincided with their counterparts in Ada, in the Greater Accra Region. One grower said they were compelled to reduce the price of their produce by about 80% to attract buyers.
He said that a box that usually goes for over GH₵2,000 has been reduced to between GH₵100 and GH₵200, adding that the increment of the prices of farm inputs further burdens them as they are unable to make enough on their investments.
"I spent about GH₵75,000 on my farm, and, unfortunately, we can't get people to buy our produce. We have to borrow money to invest in this business, and we are troubled. We have planned to talk to our lenders to extend the paying period", said the grower, who is also the chairperson for the Ziope Vegetable Growers Association.
Even after drastically reducing the price of tomatoes, very few middlemen trade with the farmers in Ziope. The traders prefer to buy from Ada, which is closer to the nation's capital, than travel to the country's South Eastern border.
[ GH₵10 = €0.82 ]