Cassava: Bumper harvest at KEEA as prices fall
| Updated Aug 18, 2017 at 2:00pm
A bumper harvest of cassava, a multi-purpose food staple, has caused a significant reduction in price of the produce in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipality of the Central Region.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Elmina, Madam Theresa Adabo, a farmer, said the situation had led to huge loss of investments to farmers.
According to her, the price of a basket of cassava, which sold at GH¢80.00 about a month ago, is now selling at GH¢40.00.
Additionally, the price of an acre of cassava farm has reduced from GH¢2,000.00 to GH¢1,000.00 as buyers negotiate for further reduction in price to enable them to break-even with sales.
The price cut represents a 50 per cent drastic reduction of the selling price of the commodity as well as the profit and income of farmers, many of whom took loans to invest in their activities.
According to Madam Adabo, a number of factors accounted for the excess production and supply of the produce, which included a favourable weather pattern, and massive investment in vast acres of farmlands due to last year’s windfall from the commodity.
That, she observed, had attracted many to show interest in the sector and added that “with such crops if you make some money in one year, then everybody wants to join the party which eventually creates excess supply over demand.”
“The current price of the commodity is grossly inadequate to recover my cost of production, let alone make profit. If nothing is done to reverse the perennial phenomenon, it would discourage many people from cultivating the crop.”
Another farmer, Ms Hannah Oduma, also described the situation as a “blessing in disguise” but complained about the transportation challenges in conveying their goods to urban centres, which, she said, had affected sales.
The farmers appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo to, as a matter of urgency, establish a cassava processing factory in the area as part of the One-District-One-Factory policy to sustain their business.
The traders called on the Municipal Assembly to beef up security at the Elmina “Mpoano” Market, especially during market days, to end the rampant attacks by armed robbers.
The situation compels them to close their trading activities early to prevent the robbers from attacking them.