The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research says Ghana has the potential to become Africa’s leader in tomato production, if greenhouse farming is expanded.
Director of crop Research at CSIR, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin, points out the country must be spared the influx of foreign tomato and its products.
She was speaking at a practical training on tomato cultivation in greenhouse and open field for farmers and other interest groups in Kumasi.
Greenhouse farming involves protection of plants against climate, pest and nutrient deficiency in restricted space.
China accounts for 31 per cent of the world’s tomato production, with annual levels of over 50 tonnes.
Ghana is so far the largest importer of tomato paste, second only to Germany.
According to Dr. Ennin, Ghana can overturn the scales if farmers get the needed support.
“We have varieties here which we can be use for our normal dishes and processing into tomato paste,” she said.
According to her, local farmers can produce tomatoes in excess for export if given the needed financial support.
Government of India is collaborating with Ghana for a pilot research project on tomato production in Ghana.
The project which is estimated to cost one million dollars will engage stakeholders in large and profitable cultivation.
Project Coordinator, Akhilesh Tiwari, is upbeat farmers will recoup their investment in less than four years.