Akuapem South pineapple farmers cry for market

Lack of market for pineapple farmers in the Akuapem South District has collapsed many businesses, though there are many fruit processing factories in the Nsawam area.

The Ghana News Agency investigation had shown that the processing factories are refusing to patronize the farmers produce and were buying from other sources including neighbouring countries.

Notably among the giant processing factories in the area is Blue Skies Company Limited, which deals in fresh squeezed fruits for the local and international market.

The Aburi-Nsawam area in the Akuapem North district, also well noted for fruit farming especially pineapples, had suffered similar fate and most farmers had stopped working.

The GNA investigations followed media reports that farmers in the area were not producing enough to meet the demand of the factories in the area. It however turned out that the farmers were operating at a loss because their fruits were going waste.

On a local television station recently, Blue Skies said it was importing fruits such as pineapples and mangoes from Burkina Faso and Togo because they were not getting the supply from farmers in Ghana.

Many farmers, who spoke on condition of anonymity with the GNA, said they had to quit the farming business because their produce, mainly pineapples, got rotten for lack of ready market indicating that it was not true that they were not producing enough to meet the demand.

Reverend Samuel Agyei, a farmer and the Director of Friends of Democracy, who confirmed the story of the farmers, said he also went into farming with the coming of the processing factories, but he folded up because there was no market.

He said the situation was gradually threatening the once vibrant pineapple farming in the area and hoped that something would be done to compel the processing factories to buy from farmers in the catchment area. GNA

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