Groundnut trade season in full swing.
The groundnut trade season that was officially declared open by the Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC) last week, has already begun in rural Gambia, with farmers optimistic of better financial returns this season.
Since the commencement, farmers have been emptying their stocks to deposit nuts at the various designated depots around the country.
They seemed happy with the price the GGC has offered for a metric ton of groundnut, which is pegged at D15, 250. For them, this is justice for the producers who spend months of hard labour on fields.
In the last trade season, the country’s groundnut corporation reviewed the price upwards to a minimum producer price of D15, 250. If the farmer is able to take his produce to the depot, he will benefit D16, 500 per ton and this will include the farm gate price and the buying commission.
At the commencement of the trade season in Niamina Dankunku and Dalaba villages in the Central River Region (CRR) on Wednesday, farmers said despite the poor starts of the rainy season that affected many crops; they have made bumper harvests in groundnut.
In the last trade season, the GGC assigned a staggering D660, 000, 000 (Six hundred and sixty million dalasis) to buy groundnut
“This year, GGC gave us a million dalasis to buy groundnuts from farmers in this area”, Ganya Bah, president of the Dankunku Secco told the Daily Observer on Wednesday.
He declared the 2014-2015 season as a booming one for farmers, especially those who made bumper harvest in groundnut. “We are hopeful that we can buy up to 400 tonnes of groundnut from farmers in Dankunku alone,” he said.
Ganya, a farmer himself, said since the advent of the Second Republic, credit buy has ceased to be the norm, saying: “Now groundnuts are bought at the secco and farmers are paid on the spot”.
He said they are appreciative of the numerous empowerment initiatives extended to farmers by President Jammeh, assuring that they will continue to show their commitment to the attainment of his Vision 2016 food self-sufficiency objective.
Abdoulie Nget, another farmer added: “I am very comfortable with the price for this. This will enable us to benefit from our work”.
He commended the GGC for the timely start of the trade season in that it will enable them to sell their nuts on time and buy farm inputs like fertilizer for the next cropping season.
Another farmer, Alhagie Modou Burama Keita, was also satisfied with the good price offered, and noted that such a thing encourages farmers to be more active in agricultural production.
The chief of Dankunku, Sulayman Keita, called on the people of his area to remain committed to agricultural ventures so that they can grow what they and eat what they grow as advocated by the head of state.