The case of tomato in Ghana


Elizabeth J. Z. Robinson, Shashi L. Kolavalli
gssp working paper
The tomato sector in Ghana has failed to reach its potential, in terms of attaining yields comparable to other countries, in terms of the ability to sustain processing plants, and in terms of improving the livelihoods of those households involved in tomato production and the tomato commodity chain. Despite government interventions that include the establishment of a number of tomato processing factories, tomatoes of the right quality and quantity for commercial agroprocessing are not being grown. Many farmers still prefer to plant local varieties, typically with a high water content, many seeds, poor color, and low brix. Land husbandry practices are often suboptimal. Average yields remain low, typically under ten tons per hectare. Because of production seasonality, high perishability, poor market access, and competition from imports, some farmers are unable to sell their tomatoes, which are left to rot in their fields. Yet other farmers in Ghana have achieved higher tomato yields, production is profitable, and many farmers in Ghana continue to choose to grow tomatoes over other crops.