NFSPMC MD Says Crop Finance Portfolio of D1 Billion Approved for 2020/21

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Managing Director of the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation (NFSPMC) has disclosed that a crop financing portfolio of GMD 1 billion was approved for the 2020-2021 season.

Muhammed Njie said this during their appearance before members of the Public Enterprise Committee (PEC) of the National Assembly for the presentation of their 2021 activity report and financial statements.

According to MD Njie, this is part of their continued efforts in mitigating the high cost of financing from international banks and the associated costs of repaying in hard currencies, and as a way of allowing for the payment of better producer prices to the farmers. He said thatthe Corporation through the Finance Ministry sought and obtained financing from AGIB Bank Gambia Limited.

“The total crop financing portfolio approved for the 2020-2021 season was utilized for the purchase, handling, processing and export of groundnut, raw cashew nuts and for the purchase of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer,” MD Njie said.

On crop purchase financing to MPS and other agents, MD Njie explained that the Corporation changed its business model by engaging AGIBBank in buying groundnut from farmers, in order to control the risks associated with cash handling.

“The corporation usually purchases the bulk of the groundnuts through primary buying agents by using a combination of direct purchase and pre-financing methods, and during the season under review, pre-financing of the groundnut trade amounted to D190, 334,658,” MD Njie told PEC.

He explained that regarding the purchase of groundnuts during the period under review, the Corporation planned to purchase 50,000 tons, and simulated farm gate prices per ton based on spot international prices for groundnut products against Government’s approved prices.

“The evacuation started on 27th December 2020 and ended on 15th May 2021. 7,029.530 metric tons were evacuated and transferred to the shelling plant, and the process experienced stock loses of 459.94 tons or 6.14 percent. This was high and was above the upper threshold of the norm of between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent for agricultural commodities,” MD Njie said .

He also stated that during the year under review, the Corporation made a turnover of over GMD1.018 Billion from the sale of fertilizer and the products obtained from the purchase of farmers stocks.

“Our priority is to move to the next stage in our strategic journey to become a major force in the groundnut sector. This means taking advantage of all the benefits available from our unique business model,” he said, adding that the Corporation plans to diversify into commodity trade to ensure the availability of goods and the improvement of price stability.

Alhagie Barry, the Finance Director of the Corporation, said during the year under review, the total cost including interest and similar charges stood at D1,047,903,415 compared to D79,418,605 in 2020. He concluded that the Corporation’s inventory increased from D26, 822,191 in September 2020, to D83, 321,617 in September 2021 and said the increase was mainly due to challenges of booking shipping containers for export of vegetable crude oil and HPS groundnut during the COVID-19 Pandemic.