The National Tomato Transporters and Sellers Association are blaming the rising tomato prices in recent weeks on shortages in the country due to import difficulty from conflict-torn Burkina Faso.
This is in response to the nationwide grievances over the upsurge in prices of tomato over the recent weeks.
According to the Queen Mother of the Greater Accra Tomato Transporters and Sellers Association, Otumfuor Charity, Ghana relies heavily on imports to meet its demand for tomatoes.
However, recent conflicts and disruptions in Burkina Faso, which is a major source of tomatoes supply for Ghana have left retailers struggling to keep up with the demand.
She was speaking in an interview with Citi News.
“There is indeed a shortage of tomatoes, but it is not intentional. In Ghana, from December to May, we do not harvest tomatoes. The tomatoes we consume are from Burkina Faso during this period. This year there have been ongoing conflicts in Burkina Faso, so entering the country has become increasingly difficult. Every year we go for tomatoes, but the prices don’t increase to this extent. This year has been different.”
She also wailed over the effect of the price increases on her business.
According to her, the expenses in importation also attract the possibilities of debts in the business.
“Right now, a crate of tomatoes goes for over 130,000 CFA. The high exchange rate is also not helping matters. You also need to pay for transportation, so if you borrowed money for your trade, you need to pay for the debt.”
Tomato importer, Bintu Mohammed described the dangers she had experienced when bringing tomato products into the country.
“It takes three days to harvest tomatoes and bring them into Ghana. When it gets here, some of the tomatoes start to rot. There are conflicts where we go to buy the tomatoes. It takes heart to travel and come back. We sometimes do not eat or drink water for the three days we travel. Human beings are beheaded before our eyes. They do not attack Ghanaians. If you show them your Ghana card, they will let you go. We do not understand the conflict. We are only there to buy tomatoes to come and sell here.”