Irrigation: Vegetable farmers at Tegbi lament high cost of electricity

Farmers at Tegbi in the Anloga District of the Volta Region have bemoaned the high-cost electricity, saying it is directly affecting irrigation services, thus making farming unattractive.

These farmers resort to irrigation processes rather than rely on the rain, which has become unpredictable due to global warming and weather changes.

They do this by fixing water pipes and sprinklers along the beds with water pumps powered by electricity, which allow them to water their crops all year round without relying on the natural weather.

Recently, however, they had been complaining about the cost of electricity, as it was becoming a hindrance to the frequency of watering the vegetables.

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In an interaction with the Ghana News Agency, some farmers at Tegbi Xekpa say they used to connect power from their homes to the farm, but the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) placed them on commercial meters, which had not helped.

“Formerly, we used to connect power from our homes but the ECG then realised it and gave us commercial meters, but this is not helping us anymore,” Mr John Damalie, a vegetable farmer, said.

The high cost of electricity is affecting our work a lot, just this month my bill alone is more than GHC1,500, meanwhile I have to repay some high interest loans and my labourers too, it is really biting us hard.”

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“Right now, all we want is for the ECG to put us on a special rate to cushion us to enjoy our work too. We cannot continue to be paying this huge bill meanwhile government support is less.”

Daavi Adzo, another farmer, said: “Some of us have about two or three pumps, somewhere last year, I paid about GHC3,000 for just electricity on these three hectares of land and after that, I could not afford to buy prospectus materials for my son to go to senior high School, so just imagine how this thing is affecting us.”

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She said the losses they incurred after harvesting had a direct relationship with the expensive electricity bills and this phenomenon is driving some of them out of business.

The farmers, therefore, called on the Government, through the District Chief Executive, to intervene to ensure vegetable farming flourished in the area.

Vegetable farming is a major occupation at Anyanui, Atorkor, Dzita, Anloga, Woe and Tegbi apart from fishing.

Tomatoes, pepper, garden eggs, okra, cabbage, lettuce, spring onion, carrot, raddish and shallot among others are grown on commercial bases for both the local and foreign markets.



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