The news release from the Agribusiness Service and Producers' Association (ASPA), the inter-professional body vested with the management of the Gambia Groundnut sub-sector, signals that the 2003/14 farming trade season has begun with a good producer price. It denotes the determination of those spearheading the affairs of the groundnut sub-sector to enable farmers benefit from the fruits of their labour.
This is important in that agriculture is the core of any sustaining national economy. It is the perfect channel to food self-sufficiency. Whilst it is strategic for a national economy to diversify, it is equally significant for it to put more weight on the agriculture sector. It is the foundation upon which all other developments are built.
Shortly before the start of the planting operations, we have seen the Ministry of Agriculture teaming up with international partners in providing farming incentives like more fertilizer to farmers. This indicates that the government did not sit by to see this year's farming season come and pass in vain. It is obviously as a result of the high level of preparedness on the part of the government that our farming community is set to rejoice over the prospects of a bumper harvest.
Reports emanating from ASPA expressing their level of preparedness to purchase groundnut therefore, illuminates the fact that the authorities tasked with the responsibility to administer our groundnut marketing are adjusting themselves to ensure the success of the season.
What is even more fascinating is the move by the ASPA to base the purchase price at a reasonable standard. This will go a long way in helping our farmers understand how their produce is being purchased. Hence, farmers will see the benefit of their labour and above all see the value of their work.
We should therefore all join hands to support the accomplishment our agricultural endeavours. Remember the country is dependent on agriculture and groundnut contributes greatly to Gambia's foreign exchange earnings.