Prime News Ghana

Tomatoe farmers wail as consumers opt for Ivorian variety

By Michael Eli Dokosi
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Tomato farmers in the country are facing two a pronged challenge for survival. While poor rains means low yields, the taste for foreign tomatoes to the local ones has exacerbated their economic woes.

Sellers in the country have abandoned tomatoes produced in large volumes across the Brong Ahafo Region in favour of Burkinabe and Ivorian tomatoes.

Traders contend locally produced tomatoes are watery, too seedy and above all, have shorter lifespan, hence their preference for exotic varieties forcing tomato farmers in places like Techimantia, Derma and Dwomo to grow maize and chili pepper.

The country annually consumes about 25,000 tonnes of tomato paste, valued at some US$25 million. Annual local production of tomatoes also stands at about 350,000 tonnes; lack of processing facilities has, however, been the bane of the industry.