The National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ghana’s largest opposition party, has rallied tomato farmers to vote massively for the party in the December elections since it had the panacea to transform the industry for the better.
Tomato growing communities, including Akomadan near Offinso in the Ashanti Region, according to the party, would be provided with processing plants, irrigation facilities, and other infrastructural development to boost production.
The flag-bearer of the NDC, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, said his administration would be committed to promoting all-year-round production with limited post-harvest losses to increase the income of farmers.
In the Ghana Living Standards Survey (2017), tomatoes made up the highest proportion, contributing to11.6 per cent of household vegetable expenditure.
Many Ghanaian dishes include a component of fresh tomatoes, and demand for the product has increased substantially over the years.
Tomato production is regarded as a highly profitable business and a potential area to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers through higher income earning.
Former President Mahama, who was addressing a town hall meeting in Kumasi, to explain the party’s recently-launched ‘People’s Manifesto’, stressed that generally, the party believed in the welfare of the Ghanaian farmer.
On a broader spectrum, the party’s manifesto promises to establish ‘Crop Processing Zones’ across the country, an idea designed to set up processing plants in palm plantations, ginger, watermelon and cashew growing communities.
These areas would see significant improvement in their road network to facilitate farming and commercial activities, the party said.
On the source of funding for these projects, the NDC flag-bearer cited the release of resources from a projected US$10 billion fund to be known as the ‘BIG PUSH’, which amongst other things, would be created for the nation’s prosperity.
The fund is to be used for industrialization and infrastructural purposes such as rehabilitation of the Eastern and Western Corridor roads, Accra-Kumasi and Accra-Aflao roads.