Watermelon farmers in the Upper-Manya Krobo District have been taught techniques in producing quality watermelons to meet market demands.
The farmers were taught chemical application, soil testing, ploughing and techniques in harvesting and preservation to prevent premature rotting that normally affect the farmers.
The one-day seminar was initiated by the GNA Media Auditing and Tracking of Development Projects team sponsored by STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor agency, in collaboration with the District Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the District Assembly.
It was a follow-up to an earlier publication by the team on challenges faced by watermelon farmers in the area leading to rotting of huge piles of the fruit.
After the publication the GNA Media Auditing team organized watermelon sellers in Koforidua to buy the heaps of melon piled in the Upper Manya Krobo District along the Koforidua/Asesewa road.
Feedback from the sellers showed the need to raise the production standard of the farmers in Upper Manya Krobo area to meet market demands, hence the seminar.
Opening the seminar Mr Tetteh Angmor, the District Chief Executive, commended the GNA project team for identifying a problem and helping to find solution to it.
He said development was a shared responsibility and assured the GNA of the support of the District Assembly for the project and urged the farmers to form an association for easy identification for support.
Mr Geoffrey Honu, the District Director of Agriculture, said watermelon producers needed constant education and training on new trends since it is a delicate fruit and urged the farmers to form farmer based organizations to be easily identified.
He advised the farmers to reduce chemical application because if not properly used it could affect their crops and also their health.
Mr Tetteh John, a watermelon farmer from Akotue, one of the communities where the watermelon is grown, said the seminar had taught him new techniques and also learnt about how to avoid practices that had previously caused him to lose market for his produce. GNA