Speaking at Mamud Fana village in the Niamina East District, Central River Region over the weekend, Mambureh Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, said they are on a site visit to confirm whether the groundnut is purchased on credit or not and the message he was getting is satisfactory.
“The Gambian farmers are our priority. It is because of the farmers why government is giving out fertilisers.”
Minister Njie claimed that President Barrow is concerned with the welfare of farmers, adding that the sweat of farmers should be respected.
“No one should purchase groundnut on loans for longtime.”
For her part, Amie Fabureh, Minister of Agriculture commended the NFSPMC leadership for their hard work. She said NFSPMC has been doing a great job over the years and everyone is happy with their achievement registered thus far.
“We are here to gain first hand information on the state of trade season. We know that lots of people bring their groundnut in Mamud Fana secco and we know that there were speculations in the ongoing trade but one thing that is clear to all is that the price of groundnut is really good an it is historic because it has never happened in this country.” she said.
“Farmers have never sold their nuts at D28, 000 per metric ton. This is historic but we received information from some sources that the ‘secco's are not operating to their satisfaction and there were loans. So, we want to hear first hand information from you the farmers.”
Minister Fabureh applauded MOFEA for its immense contribution to the agriculture ministry to enable them secure funds for the trade season.
Muhammad Njie, Managing Director of NFSPMC urged farmers to take ownership of the Corporation to make it bigger and better.
“The Corporation is yours and together we can make it bigger and better. We are here with the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance and Economic Affairs and this clearly demonstrates the importance government attaches to the welfare of farmers particularly the groundnut sector which is an important cash crop and for the economy of the country.”
Njie said his office and partners are aware of the challenges which include the slow discharge of the groundnuts especially at the Kudang Depot, which he said, has to do with a technical fault of the weighbridge indicator. He was however quick to add that efforts are underway to address the challenge soon.
“I know there have been challenges with cash but the amount of groundnuts that we have here haven't been recorded for a long time.”
Isatou Jobe AGIB staff responsible for Central River Region, said despite challenges they were able to overcome those challenges. “I cannot say that we don't have challenges, but I can safely say we have overcome 80% of the challenges in this era of technology.”
“Money sometimes will finish because the demand is higher than the supply and the budget has surpassed not once, not twice, because we all know that farmer's from our neighbors’ Senegal are coming to sell their groundnut in The Gambia due to our good price.” she divulged.