A cassava glut has caused the prices of the commodity to collapse in the Akuapem North Municipality.
An acre of cassava that used to sell at between Gh¢1,500.00 and Gh¢2,000.00 at the farm gate, now sells at between Gh¢450.00 and Gh¢900.00.
The glut has also affected the price of cassava dough, which is the major product of the rural industry in the area and employs majority of the women in the farming areas of the Akuapem North Municipality.
At the time of going to press, a maxi-bag of cassava dough, which used to cost between Gh¢100.00 and Gh¢80.00, now cost between Gh¢50.00 and Gh¢40.00.
The women in the cassava dough business also complained that, because of the glut, some of the market women who come to buy from them often insist that more of the cassava dough is added to the already packed dough before they buy.
This is happening at a time when the cost of production of cassava has risen because of an increase in prices of agro-chemical due to the fall in value of the Ghanaian currency against major international currencies, as well as the increase in the cost of farm labour in the area.
At a meeting between the farmers and the women, who produce the cassava dough, the group decided that, for the next two weeks, no farmer in the area, covering the farming communities in Bawale, Amankrado, Otareso , Asinima, Nyenua and all the villages along the Adukrom-Nkurankan road should harvest cassava for the production of cassava dough.
The aim is to reduce the supply of cassava dough to the market to help raise the price of the dough because the current prices are making them to produce at a lost.
Cassava dough from the area is mainly sold at the Madina, Ashiama, Tema and the Agbogbloshi markets.
Cassava farmers in the Municipality and communities along the Adawso – Koforidua highway, who produce mainly the type of cassava for the preparation of fufu are also facing similar challenges.
According to Madam Comfort Otoo of Okorase Barrier, a bag of cassava in the area, which used to sell between Gh¢50.00 and Gh¢40.00 now cost Gh¢20.00.
She said, even at that price, the women, who buy from them to sell at the market are not buying because they complained of low sales.
Madam Otoo said, she had sold some acres of the cassava on her farm to the market women, but they are yet to uproot them, which is preventing her from preparing the land for the planting of maize.
She said her challenge now is how to get the women to uproot the cassava so that she could prepare the land to plant maize during the minor season, which is about to start.