Sep 14, 2015, 11:08 AM
The Agribusiness Services and Producers’ Association (ASPA) has just announced the commencement of the 2012/2013 groundnut-marketing season, slated to begin on 3 December 2012.
However, it is one thing to declare prices, but the most important thing is to ensure that farmers are paid on time when they deliver their groundnuts to the cooperative produce marketing societies or private traders and agents participating in groundnut buying at the primary seccos.
The danger in farmers not being paid their monies on the spot is that they may be compelled to sell their groundnuts to buyers in the neigbouring countries, which is not good for our economy.
The only way we can avoid such things is to buy the groundnuts on time, and enable farmers to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
We have to understand that the entire livelihood of the average farmer is solely dependent on the annual trade season.
We, therefore, urge the ASPA, the inter-professional body vested with the management of the groundnut sub-sector, and the Ministry of Agriculture to monitor the process of groundnut buying with due diligence.
The buyers must all adhere to the ASPA-Government stipulated buying price which is ten thousand four hundred and fifty dalais as the farm-gate groundnut producer price.
The prospective buyers must ensure timely payment to farmers for their produce and avoid credit buying.
While we would keep an eye on the groundnut buying as soon as it commences, we do hope that the phenomenon of credit buying at seccos (buying points), would no more be the order of the day.
The practice of credit buying should be discouraged, since farmers need to receive their cash in time to solve their myriad of problems.
The longer the delay in not paying farmers their monies, the more trouble for them, since they will keep on visiting the buying points, on a daily basis, to see if there is any cash for them.
Since credit buying is unacceptable, it should therefore be discouraged at all cost.
We wish all farmers and buyers a successful trade season.