In your speech marking the 53rd Anniversary of our independence from British colonial rule on Sunday, the 18th February 2018, you made mention of the fact that this year’s groundnut trade season is markedly different from the previous ones. You revealed that the price of groundnuts at the seccos has increased from D16, 850 last year to D18, 800 this year. That is indeed laudable. If this is implemented, it will indeed increase the income of our farmers. This will indeed be very beneficial to the country as a whole.
Nevertheless, Mr President, I have been informed by many people in the provinces that they have not received their money after taking their groundnuts to the seccos. Some of these people, according to my sources, are indeed suffering because they have not been able to get a single dalasi from their sales. Indeed, it is very frustrating to toil for the whole rainy season and produce some nuts, take them to the government seccos only to be told that you will be paid later because there is no money. This puts a huge strain on our farmers which is not good.
In the long run, what will happen is that farmers will stop taking their nuts to the government buying points and start selling it to vendors. This, if it happens, will not be good for either the farmers or the government. Thus, we should try to avoid that by all means. Government should put plans in place which will enable it to buy all the groundnuts from the farmers and then make the best use of that product for the betterment of our people.
Mr President, you also said in your address that the Islamic Development Bank has provided your government with 25 million dollars to support the farmers and other agricultural areas. If citizens hear these types of amounts and then they go to the buying points and there is no money, many will start thinking that some form of embezzlement or corruption is taking place.
The farmers are not difficult to deal with, all they want is the money they worked for. Of course, dealing with huge amounts of money like that; and the huge number of farmers who want to sell their groundnuts is not easy and that there can be hurdles here and there, we should; in spite of this, try to ensure that farmers are paid as quickly as possible.
Also, Mr President, let there be proper and timely communication for farmers to understand what is going on, why are they not being paid, when they should expect to be paid and so on. I am sure that with that kind of information, farmers will be content to go home and wait for their paycheck. This is their salary, it’s not charity and we must understand that the timely receiving of it will mean the world to them.
Have a Good Day Mr President…
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen