The increasing cost of seedlings and fertilisers has become a cause of concern for some farmers in the Ada East District in the Greater Accra Region.
The Ghanaian Farmer TV show in an interview with some pepper farmers in the area observed that the farmers who buy seedlings from agrochemical shops were complaining about the high cost of pepper seedlings.
John Terkpenor, a chilli pepper farmer, lamented that the issue is adversely affecting their businesses as one would expect that the prices of farm inputs like fertilizer and seedlings would be discounted for local farmers but they keep rising every farming season.
“There is nothing like subsidy.
“Prices of seedlings and input rather go high. We buy from individuals because there is no MoFA office here in our community. They should come and establish one,” Mr Terkpenor told host Enyonam on Joy Prime TV.
Another farmer who is into bell pepper farming in Ada East, Victor Tetteh revealed in the previous episode of the show how costly the seedling has become.
According to him, a bottle of improved seedlings costs ¢300 and agrochemical shops and one needs about three bottles to fill two acres of land.
The farmers acknowledged the profitability of pepper farming but cried over post-harvest losses especially during its peak.
“After harvesting, we don’t get the price we desire from the buyers because they mostly come telling us the produce is in excess, hence we either sell it or leave it. During such times, I’m not happy as a farmer, chilli pepper farmer,” John Terkpenor disclosed.
The pepper industry in Ghana, mainly dominated by small-scale farmers, is an emerging sector with a significant contribution to food security and poverty alleviation.
Although this sector is providing employment to thousands of people in Ghana, it is faced with high post-harvest losses from poor processing methods.
Pepper is arguably one of the major delicious ingredients in Ghanaian diets. However, traditional methods employed in processing, handling, and storage most often lead to high losses.
To address the major concerns of storage to ensure food safety and consumer health, the farmers have called for a storage facility or technology that will help them ensure value for money.
“Agriculture is good. Apart from consuming what we harvest, it is a big support to our economy, hence stakeholders should consider coming to our aid to enable us to make it bigger,” he said.
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