Sunday, October 10, 2010

“It is worth to note” – Our View

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) Farmers being the poorest or constituting the highest percentage of the country’s population is no longer new to any Gambian.
Their plight has not been fully heeded to over the last seven years; the necessary incentives that can really take our agricultural production forward are neither provided for them nor made available at
affordable prices.

The issue of Kassagne in Foni Bintang Karanai Farmers not being able to sell their groundnuts three months into the groundnut trade season is a case for concern. These poor farmers depend on the little sales
registered at the end of the rainy season to fend for their families.

Relocating the Secco from Karanai to Sibanor is not in the interest of the people of the people in that area because it deprived them of selling their groundnuts. However, even if the Secco had not been relocated,
will they get their money on time after selling their groundnut?

A concerned farmer said some of their compatriots took their groundnuts to Sibanor, after a long and exhausting journey only to come back to sit and wait for more than two months to receive their money. “It’s not fair”.

We join them in calling on the government of the day to look into the affairs of Gambian farmers. But wait a minute, isn’t our groundnut reported to have been contaminated with aflotoxin, which can cause cancer or
even abortion to consumers. Isn’t it high time for the government to introduce
a new variety that will be more acceptable at the world market?

May be Gambian groundnuts have not been bought in large scales at the world market due to the some sort of poison it contain. Well, we are not sure whether that has been an issue with the government at the world
market, but if it has, then that could tell why the buying of groundnut has not
been as good these years as has been previously.

Oh! Our president wants to make The Gambia a food self Sufficient nation, that is great but cannot be achieved when the agriculture sector is not in good shape. We recommend that adequate incentives be provided
to farmers across the country.

For example, if the government could have provided farmers in all Regions with the incentives that are in Kanilai Farms, at least one region at a time due to the financial burden involved, then this country can
become food self sufficient within a decade and a half. VOL:3 ISSN:89

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