Gambia: Groundnut Trade Fails in Wuli West

The groundnut trade in Wuli West has flopped due to lack of "Seccos", farmers in the district told Foroyaa in interviews last week.

The groundnut trade in Wuli East and Sandu also collapsed shortly after it resumed this last season, which the farmers claim is due to low price and credit buying.

According to the farmers, their only markets are the 'Lumos' known as weekly markets, where they sell their groundnuts, to be able to make ends meet and survive. The farmers indicate that they sell their groundnuts to middlepersons from Senegal who buy from them at an even better price than the "Seccos", i.e., between D1,250 and D1,300 without weighing, compared to the price at the buying point (Secco price) of D1,000 or even less, based on the weight.

Some said they sell their nuts using a cup which measures one kilogram and is sold for D25; adding that 52 cups earn them D1,300 compared to the lesser price they will get at the "Secco".

Farmers indicate that the price of groundnuts escalate at the weekly markets starting from the month of June to early August. They say at this time, middlepersons buy a bag of groundnut for as much as between D1,500 and D1,600. They argue that during this period, selling the decorticated nuts is more profitable and this is why many of them keep their groundnut produce in stores in order to make profit when the demand on groundnut is high, because many will be roaming for seeds.

The farmers lament toiling for the greater part of the year, only to be paid less or sometimes on credit, when they need money to take care of their domestic needs.

For farmers in Wuli West, there has not been any buying of groundnut in their "Seccos" throughout this year's buying season; that this is why lots of farmers sold their nuts in Senegal.

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