15 December 2012

Gambia: Higher Price of Groundnuts Offered in Senegal It Is Not About Nationalism, It Is About Incentives

The Gambian farmers who did their farming in Senegal and those close to the border who have their own carts claim that they could receive up to D12, 800 dalasis for a tonne of groundnuts. They also claim that farmers who are registered with buying agencies could get fertilizer and farming implements to boost up production. The farmers who will not be tempted to go and sell their crops in Senegal are the ones without carts to transport their produce.

The farm gate price of groundnuts for the farmers in Senegal stands at 20,000 cfa per 100 kilograms.

According to a Gambian farming in Siini village in the Tambakunda region, the price being offered to them for the heaviest groundnut is 20,000 cfa francs per 100 kilograms of groundnuts.

When this is calculated, a metric tonne of groundnut would cost 200,000 cfa francs. If we go by the Central Bank exchange rate for the cfa at D320 dalasis for the 5000 cfa, ,it would amount to D12,800 dalasis.

One Lamin Touray, a farmer in Wuli was asked where they would be selling their nuts. He said the price of groundnuts in Senegal is slightly more favourable to them than the price offered in Gambia. He said a lot of people who have horse carts prefer to take their nuts across the border to Senegal.

Asked about those without horse carts, he said many of such farmers prefer to sell their nuts in the Gambia. When asked why that is the case, Lamin said if you consider the cost of transporting the nut to Senegal and compare it to the difference in prices and the other miscellaneous costs involved, one sees that it may not be necessary to take all the risks involved in the transaction.

He was asked what risks might be involved in the process of transporting nuts to Senegal, Mr. Touray said experience has shown that those who had problems in getting their moneys either because of delay in payment or lost of receipts etc had it very difficult as Gambians to make the necessary follow-ups to get their moneys.

However, he also said selling one's groundnut to Senegal has some incentives because the buying companies in Senegal provide fertiliser and farming implements to their farmer clients so that they could produce more the following year. He said a Gambian farmer who registers at a buying point can also benefit the same way if registered under a Senegalese farmer.

Since the Gambia shares border with Senegal on all sides, it stands to reason that a lot of nuts from Gambia would find its way to the Senegalese buyers, which in turn will not only help to boost the foreign exchange earning of Senegal but would also help to boost the economy as a whole but depriving same for the Gambia. This is made possible because of the price differences and incentives offered by Senegalese buyers.

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