By Abdoulai G. Dibba
Farmers in rural Gambia said even though they had experienced irregular rainfall patterns during the just ended cropping season, it has so far been a successful one in some parts of rural Gambia, where some of them hope to reap the benefits of their labour with bumper harvests, for sowing their crops early.
Farmers in Lower Baddibou, Sabach Sanjal and Lower Fulladou West, informed this reporter, that they are expecting bumper harvests for their early millets and groundnuts, even though the cropping season was not promising at the beginning, due to the rainfall pattern.
Alasan Bah who resides in the Lower Baddibou District informed that this year’s cropping season is far better than last year, in terms of yields. “My yields from my millet farm can feed my family for ten months unlike last year, when millet yields from the same farm lasted for only four months,” Bah stated; that there was a dry spell during the rainy season which affected people who were late to sow their crops. “Though there was a dry spell, it affected only those who sowed late and then the rains lasted which made the groundnut crop to mature properly,” he said.
Malick Boye of Lower Fulladou West District asserted that this year’s rainy season has been a success because they are able to register bumper harvests in all their major crops such as early millet, rice and groundnuts, in the district.
“The dry spell did not affect those who sow their crops early and this year’s harvest is far better than last year,” he posited.
Lamin Mbaye of Sabach Sanjal District informed this medium that this year’s cropping season is successful in their district; that they too have registered bumper harvests in their early millet and groundnuts crops. “There was a long dry spell but the rains lasted up to October which really helped the groundnut crop to mature well,” he stated.
Other speakers in the districts shared similar views but added that Government should by now, tell them the price of groundnut and when the trade season will begin.