Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director, Department of Agriculture, has urged farmers to always undertake market surveys to determine demand for products before venturing into production.
That, he said, would enable them to have a feel of the taste of buyers and consumers and establish agreement with them to avoid post-harvest losses and poor sales.
Addressing stakeholders in the agriculture value chain in Bolgatanga, Mr Ennor said farming was lucrative and farmers, especially those in the Upper East Region, must take advantage and invest strategically to make maximum profits.
The engagement, which brought together all the district directors of the Department of Agriculture, farmers, processors, aggregators, buyers and producers among others, was part of efforts to create sustainable market linkages for the farmers.
It was a follow-up to a Regional Agribusiness Partnership (RABP) Platform, established in 2020 by the Regional Department of Agriculture, through the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme to facilitate market linkages among key stakeholders in the agriculture value chain.
It was also a platform for expertise and experience sharing on revamping the production and marketing of products such as rice, maize, sorghum, soya beans and tomatoes.
Mr Ennor said agricultural commodity marketing remained crucial to ensuring increased production and income levels of farmers and urged the farmers to make a paradigm shift from producing anything to identifying market-driven products.
“Over the years because the market has not been sought by our farmers, they produce anything and think people will buy when they send it to the market, but they normally make losses,” he said.
Mr Ennor said the lack of accurate data had always been the bane in every sector of the Ghanaian economy, especially in the agriculture value chain, a factor that affected proper planning, production and marketing.
He, therefore, charged all directors of Agriculture to ensure that accurate data on farmers and production lines are gathered frequently.
He said the Department was implementing a biometric registration process of all farmers in the region to guide them in their production.
Mr Abdul-Rahman Mohammed, the National President of the Peasant Framers Association of Ghana (PFAG), lauded the efforts of the Department in addressing the challenges of farmers.
He called on government to put in measures to ensure standardised quantity of measurements for all agricultural products, adding that that had been big challenge to farmers.