By: Austin Ofori Addo
Mr. Okoh Agyemang, a pawpaw and pepper farmer from Kwamoso in the Akuapem North District of the Eastern region has called on the government to provide a processing center for the pepper farmers and driers in his district to help prevent post-harvest losses among this group of farmers. This he added was because a lot of farmers depended on loans to raise their farms.
According to Mr. Okoh, he worked at the Afram Plains where they provided them with these solar driers within two hours. He added that this also helped them to prevent post -harvest losses and even when they are not able to export it the pepper are processed.
He also urged the government to give money to the right farmers because sometimes, all manner of persons pose as farmers without any strict assessment to determine the truth or otherwise of these claims. He therefore urged the authorities for a strict investigation of background of any individual who requests for a loan since sometimes, monies which must go to true farmers end up in the wrong hands.
Mr. Okoh also went on to rubbish claims that monies given to farmers are misused, insisting that farmers are responsible people who handle such loans properly.
He maintains that there is a lot of profit in pepper cultivation. His only concern is that in some occasions, too many farmers cultivate the same crops which in the end results in a lot of that crop on the market.
He therefore called on the government to set up processing plants, especially for pepper processing, hopeful that it would encourage a lot of young people to venture into agriculture, particularly pepper cultivation.