Over 28,000 tons of fertilizer available to farmers – GGC Deputy MD  

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By Mustapha Jallow

As farmers anticipate another success in this year’s season, Lamin Sanyang – the deputy managing director of National Security Processing and Marketing Corporation, formerly GGC on Monday said that over twenty-eight thousand (28,000) tons of fertilizer is available and now set to be delivered to Gambian farmers.   

“Over 28,000 tons of fertilizer is available at the moment. We had fertilizer of different varieties such as NPK 15-15-15, NPK 6-2010, and Urea etc. These are fertilizers that our farmers are used to,’’ he remarked.  

He explained how Gambian farmers are anticipating receiving a quite number of fertilizers.  

He added: “Compared to last year, over 200 to 300 thousand bags were applied or used – according to our sales. So, this year, also we are expecting that over 200 thousand bags of fertilizer will be used by the farmers.’’ 

“Currently as we speak, our lawyer and the assistant team are already on their way to the provinces {up-country} to sign contract with our partners that are going to sell the fertilizer to the farmers. So, accessibility of fertilizer is very important – and that is our objective as well as the government’s objective,’’ Sanyang explained.  

GGC deputy boss made these remarks at the corporation’s head office at Denton Bridge-Banjul, on June 20, 2024.   

Distribution of fertilisers

Sanyang stated: “Fertilizer started leaving yesterday. By next week all farmers should get their fertilizers. In fact, we started selling since last week.’’ 

According to him, government had endeavored to ensure fertilizer is easily accessible to the farmers and the prize also is reasonable.  

“If you looked at the actual prize of fertilizer procured and if it is anything to go by, a bag may cost almost between D3500 to D4000 – comparing the foreign rate because we procure this fertilizer from different countries and the trading currency is dollars,’’ he said.

He stated that GGC had selected outlets and agents {believed to be secco leaders} – throughout the country. He said farmers who intended to buy up to five bags or more can go to these outlets and purchase.  

“We are working with people {secco leaders} who are very specialized and had been dealing with fertilizer for many years. And they are trusted. They also have the required experiences and qualities that we demanded from them,’’ he further explained.  

GGC deputy MD went on to say that the corporation does not want everybody to be a fertilizer seller – because they do not want the middlemen to take over the trade of fertilizer.  

“It is a control that we put in place,’’ he says. 

He added: “So, if you compare the dollar today against local currency, is a lot of money. But the government decided to take that part of almost 80% of it {the cost involved in the fertilizer transaction}. So, half of the prize attached to the fertilizer is highly subsidized by the government.  

For example, Sanyang narrated: “If fertilizer is sold at D3500, and government is asking us to sell it at D1500. So, you can see that the government had already taken the responsibility of over D1700 or D1800 per bag – compared to the exchange rate. The government had done well on that in ensuring farmers get fertilizer at a low prize. So, the prize for this year D1,100, which is very costly for government because it’s government that is going to pay high prize for the subsidy, which farmers and Gambians need to know.’’ 

In as much as the state is doing all it could to put smiles on farmers’ face, Sanyang went on to say that GGC will also do everything possible to ensure the fertilizer procured by the Government does not leave the country. 

“We don’t want Gambian fertilizer to leave our country. Simply, because, when you sell our fertilizer outside, it means – you are also taking out the money of Gambian people. And government had highly subsidized the cost of fertilizer. So, it does not make any sense to take fertilizer from Gambia and resell it outside,’’ he said. 

He quickly touched on some of the measures put in place across the border, saying over the years GGC is working closely with some of the sister security agencies such as the police, immigration, DLEA and GRA. According to him, this is to ensure individuals who are trying to smuggle fertilizer into neighboring countries are caught. 

“These security agencies are very helpful in ensuring our borders are monitored so that fertilizer smugglers do not smuggle the product out of the country. I am also appealing to all Gambians to use the fertilizer only in the Gambia because the prize is costly to government and GGC,’’ he appealed.  

Now that fertilizer is available, Sanyang urged Gambians to take up ownership and as well desist from misusing it. He asked them {farmers} to take into account that the fertilizer is not procured in local currency, but in dollars {foreign currency}.  

Last year, farmers recorded success in their harvests – also the government adjusted the sale price to 38,000 per tonne – which shows an increase of 6% compared to the previous years.