EDIF Support Pineapple Farmers with Inputs
The Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) has donated farm inputs worth GH¢99,952.50 to a Pineapple Farmers' Association in Mfantseman.
The association called Blue Skies Organic Collective (BSOC) is made up of pineapple farmers from Abor, Nanaben, Techiman and Budukwaa who do not apply chemicals such as fertiliser on their farms.
It is named after the Blue Skies fruit processing company at Nsawam which has been very supportive of the farmers.
The inputs comprised a tractor, 96 pairs of Wellington Boots, 100 cutlasses and rolls of plastic mulphine.
Mr. Henry Kweku Hayfron, Mfantseman Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) said at a ceremony at Abor that efforts were being made to make the pineapple processing factory at Ekumfi Essuehyia operational to solve the problems pineapple farmers went through in marketing their produce.
The MCE thanked Blue Skies for the numerous supports given to the farmers, particularly for introducing them to EDIF, and appealed to the farmers to remain faithful to the company.
He cautioned BSOC not to allow the poor maintenance culture which had been one of the greatest problems facing Ghanaians to shorten the lifespan of the tractor.
Mrs. Audrey Antwi Darkwah, Export Development and Promotion Officer, said EDIF had decided that henceforth beneficiaries of facilities provided by the Fund would pay for the cost within some stipulated time.
She said the decision was taken because beneficiaries did not take good care of the facilities because they were given for free.
Mrs. Darkwah pointed out that people did not normally value things which were given out for free.
She cautioned against one person hijacking the tractor for personal use, stressing that every member of BSOC must benefit from the tractor.
Mr. Kweku Ntsiful, Chairman of BSOC, said the Association was formed about 12 years ago when an expatriate called Anthony approached them for pineapples to buy.
He said Blue Skies had helped them a great deal including the provision of boreholes connected to pipes at Abor, Techiman and Budukwaa and the creation of a micro credit scheme for members.
Mr. Kweku Ayubah, Vice Chairman, said due to the erratic rainfall experienced last year, the Association could not meet the demands for pineapples by their customers.
He said with the donation of the tractor and with improved rainfall this year, they were hopeful to meet their demands.
He appealed to the Municipal Assembly to extend credit facility to the farmers.
Mr. Isaac Tetteh Ogyam, Blue Skies representative, commended the farmers for being faithful business partners.
Nana Nki II, Gyasehen of Abor, appealed to other pineapple farmers in the area to register with the Association.