By Amadou Manjang
Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC) has secured five hundred (500) million dalasi to pay famers, Muhammed Njie, Managing Director of GGC said on Saturday.
‘We have secured five hundred million dalasi from the government to pay the farmers we owed,’ Njie said.
The five hundred million dalasi would be distributed to various seccos across the country in the coming days.
‘Ajib Bank has already collected the money from Central Bank and they will be distributing the money to all seccos across the country,’ he said.
Njie made this announcement during a meeting with secco president and famers at GGC office in Banjul.
‘I want to assure the farmers that the operation will contribute to support you,’ he added.
Njie revealed that the corporation has expended about one billion dalasi on the purchase of nuts in the past two months.
Omar Jallow, the representative of Ajib Bank at the meeting said the bank will distribute the money to all seccos in coming days.
‘The debt GGC owes famers will be solved in two or three days because the money is already available now,’ he said.
Lamin M Sanyang, the Deputy Managing Director of GGC, said it is expensive to buy groundnuts.
He further added that the corporation is working hard to ensure that they can buy groundnuts on time.
Sanyang said the government has cash to buy groundnut, but the corporation always have difficulty in getting money from the bank.
‘This is what causes delay,’ he added.
Alagie Ceesay, Vice President of Farmers Union said he welcomed the move to settle the debts owed to groundnut famers.
‘We are happy that you are working to solve this problem,’ he said.
He added that this year, farmers have good harvest both in terms of quality and in quantity.
Amat Sarr, a Secco President at North Bank Region, said there are lots of groundnuts at the seccos that need to be bought.
He said in the past two months, they have bought more groundnuts than in previous farming seasons.
He added that they need to buy the groundnuts of the farmers before they sell it to operators in the black-market.
Alagie Alieu Jeng, a secco president from South Bank Region alleged that the Gambia has better groundnut prices than her neighbouring country, Senegal.
The government is buying a ton at thirty-eight thousand dalasi. Therefore, famers should have patience to sell their nuts, he added.
He added that seccos always experience delay in paying famers or buying nuts in cash since the first republic.
‘It is much better now,’ he said.
By Amadou Manjang