The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr George Oduro, has paid a working visit to the Techiman North District and its enclaves to interact with farmers and traders in the tomato business.
The visit of the Deputy Minister was trigged by complaints received from farmers in the District on the recent importation of tomato from Burkina-Faso to Ghana to the detriment of the poor farmers.
Mr Peter Mensah, District Chief Executive (DCE), said tomatoes from the Techiman North District was of the best quality in the country and urged all traders in the tomato business to come to Techiman North to do business.
The DCE appealed to the Minister to support the District with irrigation facilities for an all-year-round tomato farming, adding that this would help farmers compete with their colleagues in Burkina-Faso and help them raise more income for the upkeep of their families.
In his remarks, Mr Oduro expressed gratitude to the Chiefs and people of the Tuobodom Traditional Area for their support and gave the assurance that government would roll out more policies that would support and improve production.
He disclosed that government had approved a tomato processing factory for Techiman North under the One District One Factory project and that very soon, the challenges of the farmers would be over.
The Deputy Minister urged farmers to use approved methods and technology for better yields and not engage in bad farming practices.
In response to issue on limited agriculture extension officers, he said eighteen (18) thousand Agriculture Extension Officers would be recruited under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) and that the District would get its share this year.
Mr Eric Osei Tuffuor, Chairman of the Tomato Traders and Transporters Association of Ghana, shared his experience with the farmers.
He said farmers in Burkina-Faso relied heavily on irrigation farming to grow their tomatoes and that in Burkina-Faso, eighty seven (87) dams were constructed in the tomato growing communities to enable farmers get enough water for their crops.
He said in the whole of Africa, Ghana's tomatoes were the best and second globally, and gave the assurance that the interventions the Minister promised would help recover the monies Ghanaians were spending in building Burkina-Faso's economy.
Mr Tuffuor added that if good farming practices were adopted in Ghana,B urkinabe's would come to Ghana to tomatoes.