Koforidua, Dec 30, GNA – The New Juaben South Municipal (NJSM) Department of Agriculture has established a Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Farmers’ Market to promote the selling of farm products at cheaper rates to consumers.
Farmers from around 55 settlements, including Nyamekrom, Baakokrom, Densoano, Ada, Old Estate, Osabene, Kentenkren, Ntronan, Agavenya, and Atekyem, transport and exhibit their farm products for sale every Tuesday and Thursday at the newly created market.
Plantains, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, palm nuts, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, goats, and chicken birds were among the farm’s products.
Ms. Tharzia Numako Akwetey, the Director for the Department of Agriculture in the NJSM told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the sales of farm produces under the PFJ was an initiative introduced by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
“We received a directive from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to replicate the assembling of farm produces under the Planting for Food and Jobs to sell as did in Accra”, she said.
However, Ms Akwetey observed that the NJSM Department of Agriculture created a PFJ farmers’ market away from the main market to allow farmers to trade without any interference from the market queens in the main market.
“It was difficult for new traders to get into the main market to trade due to the demands of the market queens,” she said. We want the farmers to be able to sell at lowers prices and still make their profits.”
Ms Akwetey also stated that agricultural officers will have more time to carry out their tasks rather than assembling farm produce to sell to residents at the assembly, as was done in Accra’s market square.
She praised the Eastern Regional Director of Food and Agriculture and the Mayor of New Juaben South for their contributions and assistance in creating a new market for farmers.
Ghana News Agency survey conducted between the PJF farmers’ market and the major marketplaces in Koforidua, show that the prices of agricultural produce offered in the new market were cheaper than in the main market.
Ms Elizabeth Kwakye, a public servant said prices a bucket of onions sold for Gh¢70 at the main market was sold for Gh¢60 at the new market and palm nuts sold for Gh¢15 and Gh¢20 in the main market sold for Gh¢10 and Gh¢15 in the new market.
She further said a bunch of plantain which could be sold at a higher price in the main market was being sold at lower prices such as Gh¢15, adding, “prices here are better than the main market even though things are expensive these days”.
Planting for Food and Jobs is the government’s agricultural flagship initiative, comprising five elements that include food security promotion and employment creation.
Naa Shormei Odonkor