Yam sellers at the Agomanya market in the Eastern Region have attributed the increases in their farm produce to bad roads leading to the farming communities from where they purchase the commodity.
According to the farmers, most of who transport the produce from the Volta and northern regions, the situation, regrettable as it is invariably contributes to the escalating prices of the commodity on the market.
February figures of yam (pona) quoted by Esoko Ghana saw the prices of the commodity increase from a national average of Ghc 442.33 per 250kg in January to Ghc 466.33 per 250kg which is a 5.43% increase.
Content Manager at Esoko Ghana, Francis Danso Adjei who explained in an interview with Rite news that the price of yam increased because “there is no “pona” in the system said it is the few ones the farmers bring to the market that is being sold in the market.”
However, yam sellers at the Agormanya market have different concerns. The traders, mostly females attributed the hike in prices to the long journey and cost involved in the transportation process.
According to the traders, they were compelled to endure long journeys which sometimes took several days as well as the incurrence of huge transportation costs.
“The transportation cost associated with the yam alone is a headache to us as well as the distance involved,” one distraught trader told Rite news’ Rita Nkansah in an interview.
“Due to the distance involved, before the yam gets to our final destination, we would have incurred heavy losses,” another complained bitterly.
Most of the produce which involves a huge number of the yam tubers, they added, also break into pieces during the course of offloading from the vehicles, damaging the produce in the process. Others also simply go bad along the way for different reasons.
To these yam sellers, the business remains their sole profession on which they depend to cater for their families.
The plea of the traders therefore is a call on government to come to their aid and address these challenges facing them to have some respite while buyers also benefit from affordable price.
Four yam producing districts in the Volta and Northern Regions are occasionally cut off from the southern part of the country as a result of the deplorable nature of roads.
Travelers and foodstuff traders from the Krachi West, Krachi Nchumuru, Kpandai and Wulensi districts now spend between twelve and thirty hours to get to the southern sector including Accra.
The situation is usually worsened by the rains.
These districts are among the leading producers of staples such as yam and cassava.
During the worst moments, large potholes develop into ponds of muddy water, leaving sections of the road un-navigable and hundreds of travelers stranded. Under such difficulties, there’s no single truck that can pass without assistance.
The road to Kete-Krachi is littered with potholes and parts of it are punctuated by ponds of water, some of which are above knee level. The only reason passengers and traders in foodstuffs are able to move out of the four districts to the southern part of the country is that over a dozen young men from nearby volunteer to cut tree branches to help vehicles cross.
With this section of the road virtually cut off, it is now impossible to say how long a journey from Agomanya to Krachi will take.
And until authorities do something drastic about this road, transporting yam, cassava and other foodstuff to the southern part of the country will remain a nightmare.
Source: Rita Nkansahfirstname.lastname@example.org