Many farmers in the Central River Region of The Gambia asserted that if the Government fails to assist them with groundnut seeds in this coming cropping season, a lot of farmers will not grow groundnuts in The Gambia in the coming season.
The farmers made these assertions during a tour of the region by this reporter from the 5th to the 8th of February 2012 as part of his assignment to monitor and report on issues affecting the lives of people living in the rural areas.
According to the farmers, due to the rain pattern this year most of their crops dried up because of the irregular rainfall at a time when their crops were maturing. This they said resulted to very poor yields not fit to be used as seeds in the coming rainy season.
According to farmers in the Central River Region, their region is on record as a main groundnut producing region in the whole country but they could not produce even half of what they used to produce in previous years due to last year's unfavourable rainfall pattern.
Asked whether they have not sold their nuts and failed to keep seeds for the coming cropping season, the farmers argued that there is no farmer who will sell one's nuts without putting aside seeds because that would be committing suicide. According to them seeds are the key to any agricultural activity but that due to the poor quality of the crop they cannot use any kernel as seed simply because none is of good quality.
The farmers concluded by calling on the Central Government to investigate their claim and come to their aid since they lack quality seeds due to erratic rainfall.