Queen Mother of the Greater Accra Tomato Transporters and Sellers Association, Otumfuor Charity, has blamed the surge of tomato prices on the volatile situation currently in Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso, Ghana’s neighbour in the North has been a major supplier of tomatoes, a staple in the Ghanaian diet, used in various dishes to add flavour and nutrients for years until the halt in recent weeks.
According to The National Tomato Transporters and Sellers Association, they are currently experiencing increasing difficulties in transporting tomatoes from Burkina Faso due to ensuing conflict in that country.
Otumfuor Charity in an interview with Citi News explained that Ghana, like many other countries in the region, relies heavily on Burkina Faso for tomato imports during the period from December to May when the country’s own tomato harvest is not available.
“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 pointed out
As a result of the conflict, there has also been a shortage of tomatoes, leading to higher prices according to the Queen mother of the Tomato traders in Accra.
“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,” she lamented
This situation has had a significant impact on the tomato transporters and sellers in Ghana. They are faced with increased transportation costs and the challenges of travelling through conflict zones to bring tomatoes into the country.
Bintu Mohammed, a tomato trader who shared her story recounted the dangers she faced while transporting tomatoes from Burkina Faso.