By Joyce Bedeley:
Following the decision by authorities of the Agomanya market to increase the traditional market days from two times in the week to six days, many traders have expressed skepticism regarding the success or otherwise of the move.
Many of the market women who spoke to Rite news thought that though the decision is a laudable one, the presence of several mini markets in the municipality and surrounding communities could result in poor patronage of the market on other days other than the traditional market days of Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Aside the presence of the other markets, the market women are also concerned about the lack of warehouses to store their leftover goods for the following days, a situation which is sure to result in serious transportation challenges if they have to transport their goods to the villages where most of them come from and transport them back the following day.
‘There are no warehouses in the market to store our commodities and this means we have to convey our goods on a daily basis to and from the villages since most of us travel from far to this market,’ the distraught traders lamented to Rite news’ Joyce Bedeley when she interacted with them at the market.
‘Some of us come from the villages that are several kilometers away and the worst of it is that we were not informed about the initiative so that we can also add our views especially since all this is about us,’ some market women told our reporter.
The Agormanya market is one major market in the Manya Krobo municipality which initially had just two traditional markets of Wednesdays and Saturdays. It’s not clear what informed the decision of the authorities to add the other days but information gathered indicated that the authorities in the municipalities are implementing this new policy of running the market on a daily basis to help the women get more opportunities to sell their products since that’s their occupation and also to sell kroboland as a whole, to investors outside the land.
But true to the fears of the market women however, a visit by Rite news to the market last Tuesday, one of the new market days revealed a very poor patronage, both by sellers and buyers. Most sheds cited by this reporter were empty as the usual brisk market activities were absent. A few traders were however in active business as the few buyers patronized their wares.
In an interview with Rite news however, Mr. Stephen Narh-Korli – Senior Revenue Superintendent at the Lower Manya Municipal Assembly noted that the initiative to run the market activities six days in a week was mooted and began in December, 2016 by some opinion leaders. According to him, the opinion leaders’ suggestions come on the heels of the market’s status as the biggest in the municipality.
‘Some opinion leaders suggested to the authorities managing the market to operate the market on a daily basis since it’s the biggest market in the municipality so that it can attract more investors. Some of the opinion leaders include Mr. Sass George – a private business man who took the issue to the traditional authorities including the Paramount chief, Nene Sackitey II who subsequently welcomed the idea,’ Mr. Narh Korli said.
He added that before proceeding with the initiative, the revenue head of the municipality as well as the market queen and the divisional chief of Agormanya, sat at a round table to deliberate on the idea. Though the team acknowledged some challenges in the implementation of the new policy, it nevertheless still suggested that that the policy be implemented to help develop the market from its present state.
‘The reason for the initiative is to create an opportunity for the entire Krobos community and even outsiders as a whole and that can also fetch the market women more revenue rather than the two markets days,’ Mr. Korli added.
He also added that the revenue authority has no intention of collecting tolls from the market women on the new market days but rather looks forward to a successful implementation of the new idea before any consideration on taking the tolls can be considered.