Middlemen from Bolgatanga and their counterparts in Kumasi in the Ashanti region have been fingered from ‘robbing’ dry season pepper farmers in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region and denying them of their profits.
Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, Johnson Agolmah, Assemblyman for Kolbia Electoral Area explained that as has been the norm, middlemen engage dry season pepper farmers in their various communities, buy their produce and transport same for sale to traders in the Ashanti Region. The farmers, upon hearing that they are being treated unfairly in the trade, as all the profits are directly consumed by the middlemen, decided to transport the goods directly to the Ashanti Region for sale.
Due to the strong alliance between the middlemen in Bolgatanga and those in Kumasi, the pepper farmers could not sell their wares directly to the traders.
The situation, according to Mr. Agolmah means the farmers cannot really enjoy the benefits of their trade.
“Do you know that for our people, if they have access to the direct market in Kumasi and Accra, the people could get more money than what they are getting right now? If the women [traders] in Kumasi can come directly and buy from the farmers, that would not have been a problem. We have what we call the middlemen. The middlemen are the problem. They would tell the traders, you cannot go directly to the farmers, we would have to buy it for you. They would come, buy the peppers and now go give it to the market women. If the market women could come straight, and go to the farmgate and buy the pepper, from the farmers, they [the farmers] would still get enough money.”
“Some group of farmers who saw that they were being cheated decided to resist and send the peppers directly to the traders in Kumasi. There were disagreements. You see the middlemen in Bolgatanga, and the middlemen in Kumasi, they are working together so when the farmers send the pepper straight to Kumasi, they would not be able to sell. They would block them [the farmers],” he said.
According to Mr. Agolmah. The MCE for Bolgatanga, Rex Asanga is putting measures in place to address the concerns.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana