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Abstract

Tailored interventions in the tomato sector require current information on production and marketing systems along with the constraints faced by the stakeholders. We conducted this study to understand the current production practices, stakeholders’ varietal preferences, tomato market trends, and challenges along the crop’s value chains. A multistage sampling method coupled with a random walk was used to identify survey locations and identify 180 respondents across seven regions in Ghana. The study showed that tomato was predominantly produced by male (81%) and literate farmers (84%). Tomato farmers were smallholder farmers generally cultivating less than five acres. Tomato was mainly cultivated under rainfed conditions. Farmers used both bought seeds and their own saved seeds for production. Farmers in Bono, Greater Accra, and the Upper East region largely cultivated improved tomato varieties, while farmers in the Bono East region cultivated local varieties. Across the regions, being a male and having access to irrigation facilities increased the probability of using improved varieties by 19% and 51%, respectively. The most important farmer and market preference criteria included high yield, medium to large fruit size and rounded fruit shape, red color, time to maturity and disease resistance. The major production challenges of tomato production included diseases, pests, and poor access to water for irrigation. The average yield of tomato varied from 6902.26 kg/ha in the Bono Region to 16,213.98 kg/ha in Bono East. Tomato was exclusively produced for fresh market. The major marketing challenges were low producer prices, low demand for produce, and competition from other farmers. This study provides key information to improve tomato value chains and guide the introduction or breeding of improved tomato varieties.

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