Agric Ministry urges tomato traders not to purchase from Burkina Faso
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has urged tomato traders in the country to stop travelling to Burkina Faso to purchase tomatoes this festive season as the local producers will supply enough to meet the demand.
Tomato traders and transporters association in February this year, embarked on a strike due to what the association described as silence on the part of the Ministry and other authorities on robbery attacks on their members en route Burkina Faso to purchase tomatoes.
However, the Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Bagbara Tanko in an interview, noted that enough measures have been put in place to ensure traders have quality and abundant tomatoes in Ghana this festive season.
“We all recall the demonstration of the tomato traders earlier this year. As a result, the Ministry had to step up its activities through the crop services directorate. Looking at the quantities of tomato seeds that were distributed countrywide, we are expecting that this year there will be a good harvest and we don’t expect these traders to travel all the way to Burkina Faso. They should look in-country.”
“We are looking particularly at the varieties that attract them to Burkina Faso, we are supplying them with the same varieties,” he added.
Tomato traders embark on strike action
The strike, which began on Sunday, February 7, 2021, according to the Association, is due to the silence of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other authorities on robbery attacks on their members on the various routes when going in for the produce from Burkina Faso as well as when returning to their various depots.
According to the group, seven of its members have been robbed and shot in less than three weeks while returning from Burkina Faso, leading to the death of two of the drivers.
It is for this reason that they decided to embark on the strike action since efforts to alert the authorities have proved futile.
The National Chairman for the Ghana National Tomato Traders and Transporters’ Association, Eric Osei Tuffuor, stressed that till their issues are addressed, they will not go for tomatoes for the country.
“We’ve done so many press conferences and we are waiting for a response. If that is not done, we’ve taken a decision to park our vehicles. Tomatoes will never come to our country. We’ve started it and every Ghanaian will see it because there will be a shortage of tomatoes in our local market. Anyone who will be found crossing the border with a truck of tomatoes will be punished by the Association.”
“Unless we hear from the appropriate leaders. The only thing that we want is protection. The authorities need to protect us. We need police assistance. We’ve written letters to the authorities and it’s up to them to contact us so we sit down and find solutions to our problems,” he exclaimed.