Abdoulai G. Dibba
‘Seccos’ Managers have lamented that the delay in the discharge of vehicles with nuts at the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation Depot, formerly known as GGC, is responsible for the lack of cash at ‘seccos’.
The ‘secco’ managers made this assertion on Thursday while clarifying farmers’ complaints that their groundnuts are deposited at ‘seccos’ within the Barra, Kerewan, Kaur and Kuntuar Depot circles and could not get their monies.
According to them, the cause of the lack of cash is due mainly to the slow space in which the GGC depot discharge their vehicles loaded with groundnuts from various ‘seccos’ across the country.
Seccos managers within the Barra Depot circle lamented that it takes four to eight days to discharge their cargo at the depot; that this is making drivers to quit their ‘seccos’, leaving them without transport to take their nuts to the depot.
Ousman Bah, a farmer in the Barra GGC Depot Circle told this reporter on Thursday that the GGC authorities should regularize their depot so that drivers can discharge their loads quickly.
“This is essential because ‘seccos’ are packed with groundnut and we cannot get our monies because anytime we make enquiries, the managers will tell us that they are yet to receive cash because their groundnuts have not been discharged at the depot” he stated.
Kemo Cessay a farmer in the Kerewan GGC Depot circle called on Government to come to aid of farmers by minimizing the delay of discharging the evacuated nuts from the ‘seccos’ across the country.
“We want Government to do this because since the beginning of the trade season, we cannot still enjoy the fruit of our labour due to the slow space of cash disbursement at seccos” he said.
Malick Secka, another farmer at the Kuntaur Depot circle asserted that their groundnut is heaped and anytime they asked for cash, their ‘secco’ manager will tell them that there was no cash; that in the past, Depots work up to midnight to discharge nuts received from various areas across the country; but that nowadays they close by 8pm.
The Managing Director of GGC Anthony Carvalho informed this medium on Friday January 19, 2018 that the problems at the Depots is as a result ofhe heavy inflow of groundnuts at the Depots; that they are working towards regularizing the problem by increasing the labour force as well as the wages of the labourers.
As to the wages of the labourers, MD Carvalho indicated that they signed a contract with a contractor in each Depot and they are paying the contractor D55 per Metric ton; but could not tell how much they are paying the labourers; that it should not be less than D45 per metric ton; that this is supposed to address the problem in the Depots.
With regard to the availability of fertilizer at the ‘seccos’, MD Carvalho indicated that his institution and the Ministry of Agriculture, are working on the modalities for the sale of this important farm input in their Depots; that they had 6,000 metric tons of fertilizer in their Depots which will expire in 2019.
On cash disbursement to ‘seccos’, MD Carvalho pointed out that before the beginning of the trade season, they signed contracts with all the ‘seccos’ and one of the agreements in the contract is to evacuate 80 percent of any disbursement made before the next one.
“So let them evacuate and money will be disbursed” he stated.