Abdoulie G. Dibba
Groundnut farmers in Wuli East District, Upper River Region (URR), are said to be selling their groundnuts to buyers across the border who offer them better prices than the “seccos”.
The farmers revealed that a bag of groundnuts is sold between D875 to D900 at the “seccos”, while it can fetch them D1, 050 in the sister republic of Senegal.
When asked about the long distances they have to trek to the border village and cost of transporting the groundnuts, the farmers explained that apart from the D40 that they pay to transport a bag of groundnut to the border village, they are not subjected to any form of screening and that they still go home with D1, 010 which is above the “secco” price in the Gambia.
Alasan Jawneh told this reporter that it is not their wish to sell their groundnuts outside the Gambia but that because they are farmers who only earn income once every year, they are obliged to opt for prices that are better or more attractive for their sustenance.
He added that the retail farm-gate price of D17.50 per kilo which is offered in Senegal is higher than the D15.25 per kilo offered in the Gambia.
Other farmers, who spoke to this reporter, reiterated the same views and added that the Government should look into the issue of groundnut marketing in this country.
According to them, the groundnuts serve as their cash crop which they sell to buy imported goods. They explained that if there is no proper marketing of groundnuts with attractive prices for the producers then their poverty will not be alleviated but escalated.