The technology for the production of exportable yams is available with research institutions in the country but not accessible to over 95 per cent of yam farmers.
This situation has constrained Ghanaian yam farmers who are highly interested in the export market but are unable to meet export specifications.
This was contained in a paper presented by Mr Emmanuel Banyo Okrah, Secretary of Kintampo Yam Farmers Association (KYFA) in the Brong-Ahafo Region at a day’s media soiree organised by the Brong-Ahafo Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund for sector associations in Sunyani.
It was on the theme: “Improving the Policy Environment of Business” to solicit the media’s support in the campaign to bring to the attention of government and policy makers challenges and problems confronting small scale industries in the Region.
Mr Okrah said annually the yam industry experienced a period of glut with resultant falling prices and investment losses, adding “Yam exporters therefore incur a lot of cost going round, sorting out and selecting the exportable yams, before they are able to get an export consignment”.
He said the yam industry, along its value chain engaged over 30 per cent of the population in the Kintampo area of Brong-Ahafo Region, usually about 25 years and above.
“This age group is the critical productive workforce that caters for families and dependants ranging from 1 to 15. The yam industry accounts for 65 – 70 per cent of the local economy in the Kintampo area,” he added.
Mr Okrah, therefore, recommended the need for “An improved business environment through technical training of selected members of yam farmers as trainers, by the appropriate State institutions”.
He said this could be achieved by “Using demonstration farms to address the extension inadequacies, thereby multiplying the new technical knowledge and skills of producing exportable yams among farmers”.