Farmers in Central River Region of The Gambia have said they will not sell their groundnuts to government on the grounds that government usually buys their groundnuts at a very low price.
Last year, some farmers in the region did not sell their groundnuts to government, citing similar reasons.
According to government's announcement, it will buy a ton of groundnut at 20,700 dalasi with local dealers meeting farmers at their homes and buy the ton at 26,000.
Farmers who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity said selling to government requires transporting their groundnuts to the government buying points and pay labourers, which cost them a lot.
They added that it also takes government a lengthy period before giving them their monies while local dealers would pay on the spot.
"Currently local dealers are buying a bag of groundnuts at D1,650, while government is buying a bag at 1,300," they complained.
"Farming is very difficult and only seasonal for us in a year," they added, saying the money they get from selling their groundnuts is what they use to sustain themselves and their families for the whole year and cannot let government exploit them.
"Instead of government helping us, they are using us to enrich themselves," they further said, while calling on government to increase their price or they sell to local dealers.
According to them, the country cannot develop in the absence of farming. They also said that government should have been helping them with fertilisers, seeds, farming tools but instead it is taking advantage of them.
"There is no need government meeting farmers when it only give us empty promises every year," a farmer said, who added that government only meets them for political reasons (to get votes from them but not to know their challenges and assist them.)
"There is no need relying on a government that cannot help you be self-sufficient," they further said.
However, they called on government to consider their plight and buy their groundnuts at a worthy price to ensure their lives and livelihood are upgraded.