Prices of tomatoes on local markets in Kumasi have seen astronomical increases in recent times.
A box of tomatoes that sold at ¢600 earlier this year has increased to ¢2,500.
Importers blame the upsurge in prices on the high exchange rate of the CFA Franc and attacks on farmers and importers by the militant group, ‘Boko Haram’.
This came to the fore when Nhyira News interacted with some traders in tomato markets in the metropolis.
A retailer at Race Course Market told the team few tomato fruits that sold at ¢10 cedis now sell at ¢50.
She said the sharp increase in prices is adversely affecting businesses in the tomato value chain.
The tomato market is visibly empty as compared to previous periods.
Importers blame the hikes in prices on the continuous attacks on farmers and transporters in Burkina Faso by the militant group, ‘Boko Haram’.
They claim some farmers have been killed and others have fled for their lives.
An importer, Akua Mansh, recounted how they were attacked and six farmers killed instantly, making them lose huge sums of money.
“The Boko Haram militants have killed a lot of the farmers, I witnessed an attack where six of them were killed, they nearly shot me but I was saved when I showed them my Ghana Card. Farmers who are still in the tomato business have increased the prices”.
Another importer, Hagar Kwofie, says her brother was shot and killed by these militants.
The traders say the situation has affected sales and could create shortages.
“Armed men attacked them on their way to Ghana and my brother got shot in the head, and died instantly.”
The market queens for tomatoes in the Ashanti region want government to increase the ‘One-Village One-Dam’ initiative and invest heavily in tomato farming.
They also want government to stop the free fall of the cedis against the CFA to avoid further hikes in the price of tomatoes on the local market.
Market Queens, Abena Serwah and Hajia Mensurah are upbeat about the economic potential of tomato production when given the needed attention.
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