By Lamin Fatty
The groundnut buying centres locally known as Seccos in the Upper and Central River Regions have not commenced buying groundnut from farmers on time because they have not received the funds from the Gambia Government yet.
The Gambia Government announced that the trade season will officially commence on 4 December 2023. However, as of 7 December 2023, some Seccos have still not received the cash to commence buying groundnuts from the farmers.
President Adama Barrow said the groundnut price per kilogram is Thirty-Eight Dalasi (D38) and Thirty-Eight Thousand Dalasi (D38,000) for a ton of groundnut. He had promised that there wouldn’t be credit buying this season.
Some of the Seccos said they are buying groundnut on credit from the farmers as they await the funds from the Gambia Government.
Mahamadou Drammeh, the Secco President of Bakadagy Secco in Jimara, said that his Secco started operation on Tuesday instead of Monday because there was no cash.
“We started buying on Tuesday instead of Monday as announced because we were not supplied with cash, and even today Wednesday as I am speaking now we are yet to receive cash as we are still expecting money today too,” Drammeh said.
Asked ultimately the amount of tons brought to his secco from Tuesday to Wednesday, he said “We have received here over two tons now that are packed waiting for the money. People are still bringing groundnuts even though others returned their groundnuts after realising that there is no cash available.”
At Dingiring Secco in Tumana District, the trade season started on Wednesday without cash. The Secco President Ba Lang Mballow told this medium that they just started operation on Wednesday, 6th December.
“We started operations Wednesday and as you can see people are coming with their groundnuts for sale even though we are yet to receive cash for the trade season.,” Mballow said.
He said the reason why they did not start on Monday was because there was no cash.
Both Bakadagy and Dingiring told Foroyaa that they received their cash on Wednesday evening.
The Kundam Secco also in Tumana in the URR South have not started buying because they were awaiting cash to be supplied to them.
The Seccos in the northern side of the Upper River Region have not commenced the trade season as they await cash from the Government. The reporter contacted and visited some of the Seccos. The Seccos in Birif and Baja Kunda in the Wulli East District, Jah Kunda in the Wulli West District and Dasilameh in Sandu District all in the North are yet to commence buying.
The secco in Darsilameh in Sandu District received cash on Thursday evening.
The reporter contacted the Seccos in the southern Central River Region. Tobbo Sowe, the Secco President of Sare Soffie in Upper Fulladou West said everything is set to start the trade season but they have not commenced because there is no cash.
Foroyaa will give you updates on the situation in the seccos in the next edition.