By: Kebba AF Touray
Alkali Jatta, a veteran farmer and former President of the Gambia Farmer’s Platform, has reacted to Government’s announcement of D32,000 as price for a ton of groundnut for the 2023 groundnut trade season, should have been D40,000.
According to him, this is a good effort on the side of the Government but argued that price should have been increased to D40,000 per ton, due to the global increase in prices of all essential goods and services.
He said farmers sell their produce to either purchase inputs such as fertiliser, seed and farm implements, when the prices of these items have skyrocketed by 100 percent. He said farmers also sell their groundnut to buy rice, oil and other family needs, the prices of which, have also increased by 100 percent. Jatta argued that since the prices of essential commodities have increased by 100 percent, the price of groundnut should also be increase at the same percentage or even more.
“With this increment of D32,000 we will say that the price has increased, but it is still not favorable and attractive for us. Because when we sell our groundnut, we will in turn purchase essential commodities such as rice, sugar and oil whose prices have skyrocketed by 100 percent,” he said.
On the President’s comment that the government will sell fertiliser only to those who sell their groundnut to them, Jatta said this is an insult to farmers because it is unfair and discriminatory.
“This is discriminatory and an insult to farmers, because not all those who sell their nuts to the government are groundnut producers. What about those who produce coos, corn, rice and other food crops different from groundnuts. They are also Gambian citizens and should be considered as part and parcel of the Gambian farming community,” Jatta said. He said this is because all other commodities including fertiliser and farm implements, have increased by 100% and as farmers, they will spend more of their income to buy farm implements and fertiliser, after selling their produce.