22 Nov FARMERS’ PLATFORM SAYS D38KNOT AGREEMENT WITH GGC
The secretary general of the National Farmers’ Platform has said many farmers are disappointed with the groundnut price announced by government because it is not what has been agreed with the Gambia Groundnut Corporation, now called Food Processing and Marketing Corporation.
Lamin S Fadera also called for the government to go back and review the price in consultation with farmer representatives.
On Monday, at the start of his meet the people tour, President Adama Barrow announced in Pakau Njogu that a ton of groundnut will be purchased at D38,000, an increment over last year which the president said demonstrates his government’s commitment to the plight of Gambian farmers.
The president further said government has hired the services of a bank to make sure that the farmers receive their pay immediately after presenting their nuts and appealed to farmers to sell their groundnut to the government to return gratitude to its efforts in reducing the prices of fertilizer.
But speaking to The Standard on the matter, Lamin S. Fadera said no agreement has been made between government and the farmers when they met at a consultation forum at Jenoi in LRR, even though the farmers had suggested that they will be selling their groundnut for D55 per kilo.
“The GGC had insisted there that the farmers consultative forum was not meant to discuss the price of groundnut and promised they would discuss it with the authorities and get back to us which they never did,” Fadera said.
The SG further said groundnut farmers work for their survival and they make their livelihoods from these groundnuts. “So, government cannot buy groundnuts at a price that is not favorable to the farmers,” he said.
He urged the government and GGC to go back and negotiate with farmers on the price, saying that even if the government could increase it to D42-45 per kilo, it would be better. “The government cannot impose prices on farmers,” he warned.
Mr Fadera said majority of farmers are disappointed about the price announced by the president “because this was not the agreement we had with the GGC. Farmers are crying about this pricing. Why can they not reverse it and negotiate?”
He said he is concerned that what happened last year might repeat itself and that GGC may not have a market. Fadera urged government to renegotiate a reasonable price because GGC did not give room for negotiation.
Source: The Standard