Most farmers located within the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern region, who called into Rite FM’s Akuafo Sesen segment of the Rite Morning Show have registered their displeasure over the lack of good road networking in most farming communities in the district.
The situation they noted continue to lead to post harvest losses as farmers are forced the bear the brunt which invariably results in post-harvest losses in its wake.
The bitter complaints by the farmers arise out of what bad road network situation which affects the livelihood of a chunk of the country’s labour sector.
“Farming is a very tedious job which requires a lot of effort and work including the clearing of the land, planting, fertilizer application, pruning, among others and it’s even more frustrating when there is no means to transport the farm produces to the market centers for sale,” Kakaklono, one affected farmer told host, Captain Adabugar as he expressed outrage over his ordeal.
The aggrieved farmers said that the farming communities that produce the food stuffs to feed the municipality and beyond are staying in the deprived areas of the town and for that matter lack amenities such as roads, water, electricity supply among others.
They also attributed the high rate of default in loan repayment to such situations, particularly fruit and vegetable farmers.
“The situation is not helping the farmers in the municipality especially the vegetable and fruit farmers who are into highly perishable food productions leading to the default of payments of loans taken from financial institutions to invest in the farming business just because of post-harvest loses,” they complained.
The deplorable state of roads leading to communities farming communities is said to be severely affecting economic activities within the district.
The present condition of the roads not only poses a challenge to trading and economic activities for the people but has also been described as a death-trap for drivers and traders who ply the roads on a daily basis.
Traders and farmers, the worst affected, say the ‘unmotorable’ state of the roads has resulted in several losses as a result of the difficulties and challenges they go through to cart food produce and goods to surrounding market centres. This development, according to some of the traders, often leaves them cash-strapped and hopeless — compelling many of them to question whether the affected districts are indeed part of the country.
Several vehicles carrying food items to surrounding market centres are usually seen stuck in muddy parts of the road – leaving many of the traders in fear that their goods may go bad.
Many farmers described the increasing post-harvest losses being recorded by farmers in the communities as a great concern. Affected farmers go through a lot of difficulties to attend to their food crops during the course of the farming season, only to be confronted with the challenge of how to cart the harvested food items to market considering the state of their roads.
In most cases, due to the absence of vehicles to convey the food items to the markets and silos to store them, the food produce either has to be sold at cheap prices or left to go bad in anticipation that a vehicle might come for them.
Authorities must therefore help address the situation that has rendered poor many farmers.
The Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme, IPEP, in the Eastern Region, has identified poor road networks as a key challenge confronting farmers in the Eastern Region.
The regional IPEP teams are to identify key challenges confronting the respective regions and make a need assessment for the development authorities.
Some of the key needs identified by the team in the region bordered on poor road networks within most communities, the need for agro processing factories as well as the need to extend electricity supply to deprived areas among other needs.
Source; Prince Paul Amuzufirstname.lastname@example.org