By Nelson Manneh
Cashew farmers have lamented the price of cashew nuts this year, noting that it has drastically fallen down compared to other commodities in The Gambia.
Bikers who go around to buy cashew nuts at the cashew farms said they buy cashew nuts from the farmers based on the price they resell to the business tycoons involved in cashew trades.
Last year, the price of cashew nuts was very poor, with many attributing it to the COVID-19 pandemic which affected almost all businesses in the world. Rural farmers who live mostly from hand to mouth were the most affected.
The price of cashew nuts this year is not attractive, compared to other basic commodities and cash crops. Farmers this year started selling cashew nuts at D50 and above per Kilo. They are now selling it at D60 to D70 per kilo.
Peter Mendy, a cashew farmer in Marakissa Village, said cashew business this year is slow and the price is not good at all. He said most of them are worried about the situation as of now, because the authorities have not yet said anything about it.
“I sold one bag of cashew nuts for D2500 which does not favour me. I am still waiting to see whether the price will be increased in the future,” he said.
Mendy said cashew farming is not easy, therefore the government and the businessmen should come together and come up with solutions with regard to the low cashew price.
“We who are in the field know what is actually happening. Only a few bikers are coming around to buy our cashew nuts and they are buying it at a very low price,” he said.
Marian Gomez, another cashew farmer, said her parents have a cashew farmer and she normally goes there to assist them at the farm.
“This year everything is slow compared to the previous years. The price of cashew nuts is very poor when compared to other commodities. We all know how hard the country is. The price of cashew nuts should be more than what we are seeing at the market,” she said.
Madam Gomez said she is yet to sell a kilo of cashew nuts because the price is not good.
“If the price of the cashew nuts continues like this, it is better for us to stay at home than to go to the farm without making money out of it,” she said.
Momodou Jallow, a biker, said he has been in the cashew business for the past three years and he goes to the cashew farms, buys the nuts from the farmers, and sells it per bag to the business tycoons who export the nuts to other countries.
“The government should take the lead in the cashew business, otherwise nothing will change. There are lots of exploitations in this country. We all know that farming is not easy,” he said