Tomato farming is the most viable in
Bolgatanga, Feb. 6, GNA - Tomato farming is the most viable
agricultural investment in the Upper East Region as compared
to rice, groundnuts or any other crop, a recent study has
The research was conducted by Trade Aid Integrated, an NGO
operating in the Region, with support from the Tomatoes
Processors Association of Nyariga (TOPAN) working in the
interest of tomato farmers and funded by the Business and
Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC).
Presenting the findings at a one-day forum in Bolgatanga on
Monday, the Director of the Trade Aid Integrated, Nicholas
Apokerah, indicated that tomato farming gives employment to
about 58,640 farmers in the region.
He noted that the region has a vast potential for tomato
production and was capable of meeting the needs of the
revamped Pwalugu Tomato factory if given the needed support.
The forum was under the theme: ‘Revamping the Pwalugu Tomato
Factory - A Sure Way of improving Market Access to Tomato
Farmers in The Upper East Region’.
He said currently, production level of tomatoes from Tono
and Vea Irrigation dams and other water bodies in the region
was about 10,000 metric tons with the potential of
increasing to more than 98,000 tonnes, “if given the fullest
The research found that tomato farmers in the region faced a
couple of problems, particularly marketing, finance,
inadequate water, pest and diseases.
It noted that apart from the Tono and Vea Irrigation dams,
which provided large-scale water in much organized ways,
most of the farmers depended on riverbanks and other water
bodies using rudimentary methods of harvesting water.
The study further revealed that most of the dams that were
constructed or rehabilitated under the Land Conservation and
Small Holder Rehabilitation Project (LACOSREP) have limited
water-holding capacity and were not serving the desired
It recommended that water harvesting engineering of both the
Tono and Vea Irrigation Dams should be re-serviced to
improve their intake of water.
The research finding also suggested that farmers who use
riverbanks and other water bodies should be assisted with
water harvesting tools such as pumping machines.
It stresses the need for the Government and investors to set
up a special fund to assist tomatoes farmers to go into mass
It also asked the Government to give subsidy to tomato
farmers because most of them cannot afford inputs on the
market and make any profit on production.
The report appealed to the Government to speed up the
revamping of the Pwalugu Tomato factory and to ensure that
the factory buys tomatoes only from the region instead of
Farmers at the forum called for a Memorandum of
Understanding between them and the management of Pwalugu
Tomato factory on the terms of pricing and purchasing.