GOVERNMENT YET TO DECIDE PRICE OF GROUNDNUT

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By Kebba Touray

The Gambia Government is yet to determine the price of groundnut as farmers begin calls for the Government to consult them in coming up with a desirable price. The groundnut trade season will commence in December 2023 and will close in April 2024.

Lamin Fofana, the Business Development Officer of the formerly Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC) now called National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation (NFSPMC) was interviewed by this medium regarding the availability of fertilizer and the price of groundnut.

Farmers are currently harvesting their groundnuts and have expressed hope for a good harvest.

Lamin Fofana in response to the recommended price by farmers replied that the issue was not discussed. The farmers want Forty Thousand Dalasi (D40, 000) for a ton of groundnut. Fofana said once the price is determined they will inform the public about the price of groundnut for the season.

Lamin Fofanna said the price of a bag of the price of fertilizer costs one thousand one hundred and fifty Dalasi (D1150).

“The price of fertiliser per bag is sold at D1150. It is in stock in all our depots across the country. Fertilizer will be available for the farmers for next year’s farming season”, he said.

Asked what the total quantity of fertilizer they have in store for the farmers and whether it will be sufficient for the farmers, he said: “I cannot confirm the total quantity of fertilizer that we have in store”. He stated that he believed that the stock would be sufficient to meet the demand of the farmers. He added that it will be available to the farmers for the next year’s farming season.”

During an interface with the Select Committee on Agriculture of the National Assembly, the Managing Director of the NFSPMC, Muhammed Njie told the deputies that “the NFSPMC was supplied with Thirty-Five Thousand Metric Tons (35,000) of fertiliser for the 2023-2024 cropping season, and that Fifteen Thousand Metric Tons (15,000) of the fertiliser was procured and supplied by the World Bank through GIRAV Project under the Central Project Coordinating Unit of the Agriculture Ministry.”

He told lawmakers that the remaining Twenty Thousand (20,000) metric tons was procured by the Government of the Gambia. Before receiving the above consignment, they had a stock balance of Six Thousand Five Hundred metric tons (6,500) metric tons. He said 21,000 metric tons out of the 41,500 metric tons were sold in the recent rainy season to farmers.

“There was increased control and due diligence in the distribution of the fertilizer to prevent it from being sold outside the Gambia. As a result, we still have Twenty-One Thousand and Five Hundred MT (21,500 Metric Tons) of fertilizer in store and is available to farmers to buy for their gardens, rice fields and other farming activities during the dry season,” MD Njie said.

He stated that the significant stock balance connotes a limited quantity of fertilizer would be procured next year to supplement the existing stock balance for next year’s cropping season.