Abdoulai G. Dibba. Columnist, Farmers’ Eye
The National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation (NFSC), formerly known as Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC), have announced the start of 2017 / 18 groundnut marketing season as well as the farm gate and depot price for groundnuts.
The Management of the NFSC asserted that in consultation with Government, the farm gate price for groundnuts for the 2017 / 18 groundnut marketing season is pegged at a subsidized price of D17,300.00 (seventeen thousand, three hundred Dalasi) per ton or D17.30 per kg and that the depot price is set at D18,800 (eighteen thousand eight hundred Dalasi) per ton.
The NFSC Management made these assertions in a press release dated 25th November 2017. In the same vein, the release went on to indicate that the season will start on Monday, 4th December 2017, and will close on the 15th day of March 2018.
Readers would recall that during the 2013 / 14 groundnut marketing season, the farm gate price was pegged at D14,500.00 while the Depot price was pegged at D16,500.00; in 2014 / 15, the farm gate price was pegged at D15,250.00 while the Depot price was at D16,500.00; in 2015 / 16, the farm gate price was pegged at D15,250.00 while the Depot price was at D16,500; in 2016 / 17, the farm gate price was pegged at D15,600.00 while the Depot price was at D16,850.
From the above figures, one can clearly state that the farm gate price in 2014 / 15, realized an increment of D750.00 over the farm gate price of 2013 / 14.
However, with regard to the Depot price, there was no increment. The D16,500 per metric ton of 2013 / 14 trade season, was maintained in the 2014 / 15 trade season. In 2015 / 16, there was a slight increment on both the farm gate and depot prices.
In 2016 /17 trade season, both the farm gate and Depot price were increased by D350 over the 2015 / 16 price, which was D15,250 for the farm gate price and D16,500 for the depot price.
Foroyaa was informed that the Islamic development bank has provided US$17.5 million to finance the marketing of groundnut and the purchasing of fertilizer.
However, it is not clear whether the amount was a loan or grant; how much was for the purchasing of groundnut and how much was meant for fertilizer?
In the same vein, the press release does not indicate how many tons are to be purchased this year and whether there will be a monopoly or there will be other players in the market. Foroyaa will investigate to know whether there would be credit buying or not in this year’s marketing season.
This reporter will approach the authorities for answers.