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Gambia: Start of 2015 marketing season

  • Gambia: Start of 2015 marketing season

    by Market Insider

    Friday, 16 Jan. 2015

    The groundnut marketing season, due to commence by the end December 2014, has been officially declared open by the Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC) with one week delay.

    Groundnut winnowing was finished since December last year, but farmers were still waiting for the announcement of date for the commencement of the trade season and the price of nuts by the end of the first week of January. In order to get cash to cover urgent needs, many farmers have been forced to sell their nuts to middlemen at cut throat prices, incurring financial losses, although an agreement has been signed between the Cooperative Marketing Societies in both the North Bank and the Central River regions and the Gambian Groundnut Corporation since mid-December 2014.  

    GGC pegged the minimum groundnut producer price at 15,250 Dalasi/kg, equivalent to 350.5 US$/ton. When farmers transport themselves the crop at the various designated depots around the country, they can fetch 379 US$/ton of nuts, comprising the minimum producer price and 28.5 US$/ton transport and buying commission. For comparison, the minimum producer price in Senegal amounts to 356.5 US$/ton (200 XOF/ton). 

    While some farmers were contended with the pegged minimum producer price announced by GGC, many others considered it too low. Their concern has been expressed on January 6th by Honorable Khan, a National Assembly Member, at the National Assembly in Banjul. He called on GGC to reconsider the prices offered to farmers, pointing out that the company is buying groundnut at cheaper prices than the foreign buyers registered with them. This encourages a growing number of farmers to cross the borders and sell their groundnuts to neighboring Senegal.   

    According to some farmers' statements, credit buying has ceased to be the norm, groundnuts being now purchased and paid on the spot at seccos.  

    Because The Gambia is not making progress in meeting the requirements under the African Growth and Opportunity Act AGOA, the country had its AGOA beneficiary status removed on 23 December 2014.  This implies that US imports of Gambian groundnuts will not benefit of duty-free treatment. However, this should not affect substantially Gambian groundnut exports to the United States of America (USA) - in the short term at least. 

    With the drop of the United States (US) groundnut prices, which are now essentially sold at the world market price, and the reduced need for sizable imports, USA became a less attractive export market. According to a report of August 2014,  the Unites States (US). only imported $3,000 in groundnuts from The Gambia. Moreover, the persistent high levels of aflatoxin contamination would limit Gambia's ability to comply with the Food & Drug Administration regulations and increase eventual exports to US market. 





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