Thursday, February 3, 2011

Farmers left ‘bututless’ due to lack of cash at groundnut selling point

Farmer at the village of Saba and it surrounding in the Lower Baddibou District of the North Bank Region have complained about the shortage of cash at the Saba “Secco” (groundnut buying point).
Speaking to our reporter, Masanneh Makalo, a native of Saba village said: “There is no money presently, people come with their groundnuts and sell it on credit and they cannot tell when the money will be available.”
Makalo was found sitting at the Secco in Saba waiting hopelessly as he has already let his groundnut go without receiving a butut (lowest Gambian currency denomination). “During the rainy season, farmers like me credited money to buy food, fertilisers and other farming necessities, however, we still cannot pay these people because we’ve not get our money yet,” he lamented.
Its two more than two weeks since I sold my groundnuts, he said, while saying that despite the government’s ‘back to land’ call, farmers have not been given top priority. This he said led to the upsurge of rural-urban migrations of youths since the money is not always available after harvest.
Hard times
“Farmers are facing difficult times, our groundnuts are already at the buying centre and we’ve been left without money,” Abubacarr Fatty said, calling on the Government of The Gambia to find a solution to these monotonous routines.
“They (the government) should make sure that money is available in all buying centres through out the groundnut trade season. The situation is discouraging as farmers’ depends solely on little income generated from their harvest,” he said.
Kids sent out of school
Junking Susso, also a resident of Saba said: “We are left with nothing, now that our groundnuts are at the buying centre without us receiving the money in return.”
“My children have been sent out of school for not paying their school fees. This is the time we have a lot to do for our families, feeding and renovation or rebuilding of our houses as you know the rainy season has also taken its toll on our houses,” he lamented.
When he was approached, Alhagie Bah reveals that the buying centre (Secco) owes him D18, 000. He told our reporter that he has been visiting the centre on a day-to-day basis but he is yet to receive his money. SOURCE: THE VOICE

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