BY ANIN AGYEI–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Accra, Ghana- SOME TRADERS in Ghana are calling on the government to initiate policies that will stop farmers from applying chemicals to the food they grow because its poses health threat and shorten the life span of most of the perishable food items like vegetables and fruits.
Speaking to some traders in Accra, to mark this year’s World Food Day yesterday, they stated that the chemicals that famers also sprayed on the produce were very harmful to life and suspects that it was the cause of most deaths and strange diseases and illness in the country.
According to a corn dough seller at Agbogbloshie Market, Ms Elizabeth Kpowwodu, said the quantity of chemicals used in growing the corn was very high because when they milled the corn and preserved it, within three days the colour changed to dark , which to her, posed risk to health.
Another trader Ms. Dora Marfo, a tomatoes seller at CMB Market in Accra, told the paper that they ran at a loss because of the chemicals used in growing the tomatoes.
According to her, they buy the tomatoes from Keta in the Volta Region, at GH¢500.00 plus transport fare of GH¢100.00 to Accra, making it GH¢600.00 for a box of tomatoes.
“After paying all this money to buy the tomatoes to Accra, within three days they will get rotten and we will run at a loss so the least we can do is to sell them at a cheaper price of GH¢400.00 instead of losing all our money,” she said.
She added that “we want the government to act fast to ban farmers from using the chemicals otherwise very soon we will all die because all the vegetables are being planted with chemicals so nobody is safe. For once we must think about our health and forget about the money because without sound health we will die and leave the money behind.”
Ms. Mary Quaicoo, a corn seller at CMB, said she did not see why Ghana should join the world to celebrate the day because the challenges they encountered before bringing the foodstuffs to Accra were hectic and risky.
According to her, they travel as far as Burkina Faso and Tumu District in the Upper West Region for their foodstuffs and that at Tumu, they do not have a specific place to get the corn unless through a third party.
She said, “We give the money to the farmers and the third party but if luck is not on your side, they would run away with your money or lie to you that the money has been stolen.”
“We are pleading with the government that just like Tamale where you know where to get your foodstuffs, they should try and turn their focus on Tumu to help them get market for the various crops because our monies are being stolen by thieves,” she added.
For transportation, Madam Mary called on the government to reconsider the decision to always increase fuel prices as such increase in turn caused increment in fares, which affects prices of foodstuffs and prevented customers from buying due to the high prices.
Afua Boutique, a plantain seller at Abgbogboloshie Market, Accra, told the paper that she and her colleagues had enough food to sell but due to the high cost, they were unable to sell them because Ghanaians complained of lack of money in the system, which affects their purchasing power.
“They prospective buyers come and play with the foodstuffs without buying them and give us excuses that there is no money so what can we do? Nothing. Because of the chemicals, within two or three days you see the foodstuffs rotting and the funny part is that some will melt and you only see water coming from them,” she said.
BY ANIN AGYEI, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, AFRICA CORRESPONDENT
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