By Lamin Fatty
The Gambia Government has managed to resolve cash drought issue in the Upper River Region (URR), by disbursing cash to many of them Seccos. However, the only known Secco with cash issues is Kundam Secco in Tumana District.
Shortage of cash affected the groundnut trade season in the Upper River Region (URR) as many farmers sold their nuts on credit. The cash drought began over two weeks ago and the reasons still remains unknown. The Government agency responsible for buying groundnut did not provide any communication to farmers or Secco managers explaining the reason for the cash drought which lasted for two weeks, despite the Gambia Government owing farmers their money.
Farmers raised this issue with Foroyaa and our reporter who visited some of the seccos to get first-hand information, found out that many secco managers were buying groundnuts on credit and the situation continued without any official communication from the Gambia Government.
This time, our reporter again visited some of the Seccos in the Region and was informed that the Gambia Government has disbursed enough cash to settle the farmers except Kundam Secco, where Government owes farmers money. Our reporter was told that the money disbursed at that Secco was not enough to pay all the farmers who were given promissory notes, and there are still some farmers who have not yet received their monies.
When contacted, the Secco president of Kundam, Omar Drammeh, confirmed the story and said his Secco is still owes farmers because the money they were given was not enough to settle all them.
“We received cash amounting to 1.2 million Dalasi last week after a long period of cash drought, but that amount was not enough, because we still owe some farmers,” the Secco President confirmed.
That he has already relayed the issue to the Managing Director for Gambia Groundnut Cooperation Mahammed Njie, during his visit to the Secco in Kundam, but said nothing has arrived and farmers are still await their cash.
When contacted to shed light on the above issue, the President of the Upper River Region Seccos Duguneh Fofana who was met by this reporter in Baja Kunda, said all the Seccos within the Region have received cash last week after a long period of cash drought, despite the lateness. Fofana said a good number of farmers sold their groundnuts to middlemen as a result of the lack of cash at the Seccos.
Asked whether he met the Managing Director of GGC during his tour, but replied that he was aware of the visit but the MD only visited the southern part of the region leaving the north.