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FRUSTRATED WOMEN AT ABUAKWA OVER LOW PATRONAGE OF FARM PRODUCE

Expectations were so high for market women as the Christmas drew closer. But there seemed to be a great disappointment for the market women during and after this year’s yuletide. The Abuakwa market in the Atwima Nwabiagya district of the Ashanti Region did not have any different story to tell.



 The market women, many of whom Agric Today spoke to recently, expressed worry about the low patronage of their commodities this festive season. Market during Christmas was very terrible. “Sales were low, people did not buy our commodities as expected. A few years ago, the market used to be booming and we had a lot of patronage, but last year’s Christmas was the worst of my eight years in business”, lamented, one Madam Grace, a plantain seller.

A cabbage seller also bewailed “I used to go to the farm to buy from the farmers directly. They give the produce to me at a very low cost and because business was good I could afford the transportation fee by myself”.

Today, that is not the case anymore. Market is slow and the cabbages get rotten before they even get finished. A lot of money is lost and capital is reduced.

A bag of cabbage used to cost GH400 last two years but just last year it shot up to GH600 and there is low patronage for it.

The meat sellers and several other market folks we spoke to expressed similar concerns about the low patronage. They did not hide their disappointment and frustration about the situation and how this is affecting their finances and livelihoods. Some of the women are single parents who are taking care of their children through school and things cannot be any harder for them.

In a rather expected twist, however, the disgruntled women would not attribute the bizar economic adversities to Nana’s administration but to the cumulative effect of poor farming practices, high costs of agro-chemicals and fertilizers and high transportation costs of produce due poor road infrastructure.

Sadly, the first quarter of 2018 has not been any different. Traders are scared prices of farm produce will shoot up looking at the early onset of the rains.

We advise farmers should make use of advance machinery and equipment, best farming practices such as irrigation and post-harvest initiatives for high yields.

They are, therefore, calling on government to intervene immediately with some comprehensive and sustainable measures such as providing farmers with advance machinery, Agric officers to train farmers on best farming practices, as well as better remuneration packages for the men and women in the all important Agric sectors. These, they hope, will help boost the sector and consequently result in higher yields. For it is only through these, added the market women, they can get to buy the produce from the farmers at reasonably reduced prices, which will also in many ways more than one, improve their sales and impact their lives and those of their families better.



Source:Agrictoday.com.gh

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