The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is urging tomato traders in the country to desist from travelling to Burkina-Faso to buy tomatoes this festive season.
He said local producers have the capacity be able to supply enough to meet their demand.
The Tomato traders and transporters association embarked on a strike in February this year due to what the association said was the silence of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other authorities on robbery attacks on their members on various routes when going in for their produce from Burkina Faso as well as when returning to their various depots.
But in an interview with Citi Business News, Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Bagbara Tanko noted that enough steps have been taken to ensure traders get access to quality tomatoes in the right quantities in Ghana this festive season.
“We all recall the demonstration of the tomato traders earlier this year. As a result, the Ministry had to step up its activities through the crop services directorate. Looking at the quantities of tomato seeds that were distributed countrywide, we are expecting that this year there will be a good harvest and we don’t expect these traders to travel all the way to Burkina Faso. They should look in-country.”
“We are looking particularly at the varieties that attract them to Burkina Faso, we are supplying them with the same varieties,” he added.
Attached is the full statement
Tomato shortage looms following traders and transporters’ strike
Ghana might soon be experiencing a shortage of tomatoes and a jump in price of the commodity, as a result of an ongoing indefinite strike by the tomato transporters association.
The strike, which began on Sunday, February 7, 2021, according to the Association, is due to the silence of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other authorities on robbery attacks on their members on the various routes when going in for the produce from Burkina Faso as well as when returning to their various depots.
According to the group, seven of its members have been robbed and shot in less than three weeks while returning from Burkina Faso, leading to the death of two of the drivers.
It is for this reason that they have decided to embark on the strike action since efforts to alert the authorities have proved futile.
The National Chairman for the Ghana National Tomato Traders and Transporters’ Association, Eric Osei Tuffuor, in an interview with Citi Business News, stressed that till their issues are addressed, they will not go for tomatoes for the country.
“We’ve done so many press conferences and we are waiting for a response. If that is not done, we’ve taken a decision to park our vehicles. Tomatoes will never come to our country. We’ve started it and every Ghanaian will see it because there will be a shortage of tomatoes in our local market. Anyone who will be found crossing the border with a truck of tomatoes will be punished by the Association.”
“Unless we hear from the appropriate leaders. The only thing that we want is protection. The authorities need to protect us. We need police assistance. We’ve written letters to the authorities and it’s up to them to contact us so we sit down and find solutions to our problems,” he exclaimed.