Many farmers around the country were delighted when it was announced that the trade season for 2023/2024 was about to begin and that the price was good. Some celebrated it as the best price ever even though some complained that it was less than what the neighboring country was offering for a tonne of groundnuts.
Fast forward to a few months later, the seccos are full of sacks of groundnut like mountains and there is no money. When one sees these huge piles, one’s heart is pleased that this year’s rainy season has been so successful but then as the farmers – or most of them – are yet to receive their monies, the elation is soon dampened.
Agriculture is often said to be the backbone of the Gambian economy. This means that farmers play a very crucial role in the development of the nation. This being the case, it is incumbent upon the Government to ensure that everything is done to ensure that their needs are met.
Meeting their needs includes making sure that when they toil for the whole year and produce groundnuts; they are given a good price for their nuts. Not only do that but also made sure that they receive their money as soon as they present their groundnuts at the buying centres.
This means that before the buying season comes, proper arrangements are made to ensure that there is enough money for all the nuts that may be brought there for selling. It can be understood that it will not be easy to have all that money in all the locations that nuts are bought for reasons of security. But still, if proper arrangements are made, then it could be done in such a way that within a day or two all who bring their nuts are paid.
It is demoralizing for someone to work hard for the whole season to produce theses groundnuts only for him to be told that there is no money to buy his produce. Henceforth, government must make sure that the proper and adequate arrangements are made to ensure that farmers receive their money on time.