Agriculture is an integral component in the development of any nation. In essence it is the foundation on which all other components stand on.
Following what many described as good season in terms of farming in the country, the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation previously known as GGC recently announced the commencement of the 2020 groundnut marketing season. This year's marketing season starts 1 December and ends on 31 March 2021.
The farming community was duly informed that the farm gate price for this year's marketing season has been fixed at D20, 700 (twenty thousand, seven hundred dalasis).
From the look of things, it appears that the farm gate price per ton of groundnut for this year's marketing season is not appealing to many farmers especially those in the provinces. Already farmers in Central River Region have expressed their unwillingness to sell their groundnuts to government. They've advanced series of issues but the most important challenge is the low price.
This includes, high cost of transportation in ferrying their produce to buying points and additional cost to hire labourers, which they say, cost them a lot. Some farmers also decried delay in payment of their monies each time they sell their produce to government.
Smallholder farmers in some instances took bold decisions to make regarding selling their produce: selling at farmgate at low prices or travelling to a market centre where higher prices are offered.
Government should now do away with empty promises that are never fulfilled. Some of these farmers accused government of always promising to buy their produce on the spot, promises that never materialised, thereby putting them in a funny situation.
We therefore call on government to look into some of the concerns raised by these rural farmers. Farming is a very difficult undertaking and for some of these rural farmers this is the only seasonal undertaking to sustain themselves and their families till the next harvesting season.
However, we are glad that officials have made arrangements with AGIB bank and Q-money to have farmers paid on the spot.
This will also encourage them to intensify their agric farming thereby reducing poverty levels in the country. Let's try to eradicate poverty rather than promote it by exploiting our hardworking farmers.
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