BY Kebba AF Touray
In the struggle to find out the plight of the farmers in the areas of fertilizer, seeds and rain, we sounded the views of farmers in Janjangbureh, Kantora and Banniko kekoro and this was what they had to share with this medium.
Ansumana Jawneh, a middle aged farmer from Banniko Kekoro in Basse, said lack of fertilizer poses a great problem to their farming endeavors. “I heard that fertilizer is available in Basse at a cost of D700, but the dealer who buys it in Basse sells a bag of fertilizer at D 800. For those who buy their fertilizer from Senegal, they sell a bag of fertilizer within the range of D800 to D950, even though this is scarce,” he said.
Jawneh said that they have brought some seed nuts, but cited that it is not adequate in supply and the demand of seed nuts and fertilizer is high. He added that the scarcity of these two main farm inputs, will definitely impact on their crops. “The Food and Agriculture Organization have brought rice, maize and bean seeds to be distributed among twenty (20) farmers but this is not sufficient. They also promised to bring groundnut seeds,” he stated.
The other challenge that Jawneh said the farming community is faced with, is the lack of rain for a week, and this, he said, will cause some delay in their planting operations. He appealed for Government’s intervention to provide them with adequate seed nuts and fertilizer, to improve their productivity.
Babanding Jatta, a farmer from Janjangbureh, said they are currently experiencing drought for almost a week and this is frustrating their farming activities. He said they only have Urea fertilizer which costs D800, but was quick to point out its shortage. Concerning rain, he also lamented the lack of rain which was highlighted by previous speakers; adding that this can be a nightmare as most of their crops have not been planted and the little that has been planted has started to germinate. He said that lack of seed nuts is their daunting challenge and called on government to look into the matter urgently.
Foday Touray, the village head of Sami Koto village in Kantora District, said the area faces serious seed and fertilizer inadequacy.
‘‘We don’t have seeds and fertilizer which prompted me to call the Basse Agric. Camp. However, I have been told that fertilizer is available and is brought by The Food and Agriculture Organization to be shared among members drawn from seven (7) villages in Kantora,” he said.
He said the price of fertilizer in his area is D850 to D900. Touray, like other farmers also confirmed that lack of rain is causing some delay in planting operations and tasked government to urgently come to their aid.