Abdoulie G. Dibba
With the rainy season at its peak and rainfall so far being normal, farmers in the Niani district of the Central River Region (CRR) are complaining about the poor germination of their groundnuts which have already been planted.
As groundnut is the main cash crop in The Gambia, the concerned farmers are worried that this year’s harvest of the crop may be poor and thus increase their hardship. They, however, expressed optimism over some cereal varieties such rice, maize, early and late millet.
Talking to the Farmers’ Eye Columnist, Modou Lamin Ceesay, a farmer in Kayai village, said the groundnut plants in many farms in the district, including his own, have not germinated properly even though they have sown early and that the rainfall is normal.
“I have sown the groundnut in my farm immediately after the second rainfall,” said Ceesay.
Asked whether the farmers have re-sown the groundnut in his farms after experiencing the poor germination of the plants, he responded that those who have adequate seeds have done so but that those without the means have no option other than to grow crops such as cowpeas (beans).
Another farmer called Salifu in Sare Nyanga village said his whole groundnut farm failed to germinate which compelled him to switch to the findo crop. He, however, added that this crop failure has caused him to loss almost D1500 (One thousand five hundred dalasi) worth of groundnut seeds.