FARMERS EXPECTING LOW HARVEST As Stakeholders Meet In Jenoi To Discuss Quality

AbdoulieG.Dibba

While Farmers in the country are expecting low harvest with regards to the main cash crop (groundnut) due to the heavy downMUSUKEBBA KANTEH HARVESTING HER GNUTS pour of rain in this cropping season, stakeholders in the Groundnut Value Chain recently held a three-day workshop at the Agricultural Rural Farmer Training Centre in Jenoi, Jarra West.

According to Sana Darboe, a master farmer, groundnut harvest this year will be low because of the rain patterns.

He said the rain pattern has made it very difficult for the groundnut plant to get the required sunlight and it will therefore perform badly in terms of yield.

This view was endorsed by farmers who spoke to this reporter throughout the country.

During the three-day convergence, the stakeholders discussed the challenges confronting the Marketing of Groundnuts and Groundnut by-products in the Gambia as well as sensitized the key stakeholders on how to maintain quality assurance within the various stages of the Groundnut value chain.

The three-day meeting was organized by the National Implementation Unit (NIU) of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (ElF) project, under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Agribusiness Services & Producers Association (ASPA).

It was funded under the Sector Competitiveness and Export Diversification Project (SCEDP) which aims to respond to some of the trade related development priorities identified in the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (OTIS) by providing agric-sector specific support for cashew nuts, groundnuts and sesame through finding new export opportunities and product diversification.

In his welcoming remarks, Governor Salieu Puye highlighted the importance of groundnut and some of its essential uses.

Governor Puye used the opportunity to deliver a message from the President to the farming communities that they should allow their groundnuts to ripe fully before harvesting them as well as handling them properly after harvest to avoid aflatoxin.

Baturu Camara-Ceesay, Principal Trade Economist at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, representing the permanent secretary indicated that every market has its standards and if farmers want to sell their groundnut produce at the international market, they should ensure that it meets those market standards.

She argued that they would continue to work with relevant partners to ensure that they have quality groundnut that could be sold to the international markets.

After the official opening, presentations were made by Lamin Jaiteh of the Food Safety and Quality Authority, on the importance of Quality and Standard; Alhagi Yahya Jarjusey of the Cooperatives producers Marketing Societies gave a presentation on the challenges in the Groundnut trade from the perspective of the Cooperatives producers Marketing Societies.

The Gambia Groundnut Corporation was supposed to make a presentation on the challenges in the Groundnut trade from the perspective of the buyers as they are the main buyer but they were not present.