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BusinessKamgbunli farmers urge govt to establish tomato processing factory in Western Region

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Kamgbunli farmers urge govt to establish tomato processing factory in Western Region

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The Tomato Farmers Association in Kamgbunli located in the Western Region, has urged the government to establish a tomato processing factory in the region.

Highlighting the growing significance of tomatoes alongside cocoa and rubber in Kamgbunli, the Association pointed out the challenges posed by the perishable nature of tomatoes, hindering farmers from maximizing their yield.

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During a media tour of the tomato farms at Old Kamgbunli, Mr. Shaibu Issa, Secretary of the Tomato Farmers Association’s Steering Committee, disclosed that a considerable portion of the harvest is wasted due to the lack of a reliable market.

He detailed that farmers are organized into four groups, each allotted specific days for harvesting ripe tomatoes, and stressed the potential of a local factory to facilitate bulk supply for processing.

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Mr. Issa underscored the positive impact of tomato farming on the community’s livelihoods, particularly for women, while emphasizing the obstacle of poor road access hindering transportation to market centers.

He appealed to the government, philanthropists, and investors to provide support to the farmers and promote tomato farming in the region.

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Commenting on the state of agriculture in Kamgbunli, Developmental Chief Mr. Ali Nuhu Abeka lamented the waste of tomatoes due to market and storage challenges, which could potentially lead farmers to abandon agriculture as their primary source of income.

He stressed the critical need for a processing facility to enhance agricultural profitability, especially considering the neglect of over 80 acres of inland valley rice fields by successive governments.

With a population of 5,000, about 700 residents are actively involved in organic tomato farming.

Local tomato farmer Madam Mariama Osman reflected on the community’s history of unsuccessful rice farming by ancestors.

“We’ve turned to tomato farming because it’s profitable and supports our children’s education,” she said, adding that nematodes are a significant threat to tomato production.

Kamgbunli Assembly Member Dauda Musah said he and the committee are coming up with plans to get outside help.

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