The Gambia Groundnut Corporation (GGC) owes Gambian farmers over two hundred million dalasis (D200 million) since it started buying farmers peanuts on credit buying, Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The parastatal lacks funds to pay Gambian farmers. Thousands of farmers across the country, have been affected by the cash shortage.
The Gambian government had loaned money in the sum of $20 million dollars from the African Development Bank (ADB) to help settle farmers unpaid groundnuts. The loan facility was secured recently. But sources familiar with the loan arraignment said the ADB had insisted that before the funds would be released, The Gambian government must pay up $10 million dollars it owed to the bank.
Lack of timely intervention by the government to clear the pending loan with the ADB had been blamed for the slow disbursement of the loan, sources said. Finance Minister Mamburay Njie had submitted the loan request to the ADB at the eleventh hour.
Meanwhile, Gambian farmers are finding it extremely difficult to put food on the table for their families. They have called on the government to help speed up settling their unpaid peanuts.
Agriculture Minister Lamin Ndambou Dibba was contacted for comment, but he was indisposed at the time of going to press. His cellular phone was switched off.