Senegal: farmers contest the price of groundnuts proposed for the upcoming campaign

Expected for several weeks by the actors of the Senegalese sector, the price of groundnut proposed by the National Interprofessional Committee for Groundnut (CNIA) has finally been set at 210 CFA francs per kilo for the 2019/2020 season, which is due to open on Monday 25 November. A level of education that is not well received by farmers.

The suggested price, unchanged from the previous season, still needs to be validated by Agriculture Minister Moussa Baldé, but the announcement is already causing a stir. Quoted by the Senenews information website, Ibrahima Badiane, president of the Kaolack and Fatick federation of groundnut producers (the heart of the Senegalese groundnut basin in the central-western part of the country) criticizes the « solitary management » of the minister, « unreachable », and who « does not involve[ant] any actor in the management of the sector [….] leads to a serious failure ». For the representative of the groundnut trees, « the State could go up to 225 CFA francs (0.34 euros) ».

However, the government has given itself the means to make the new groundnut campaign a success, with the successful financing of 30 billion CFA francs (46 million euros) in early November of the Société nationale de commercialisation des oléagineux du Sénégal (Sonacos) by the Société islamique internationale de financement du commerce (ITFC), the objective being to finance the purchase of groundnut seeds during the campaign. A reassuring financial communication that does not, however, convince the main parties concerned, who fear that the State will prepare them « for a decline in the subsidy of the price of groundnuts, which will be catastrophic ». Another unknown factor at the beginning of the season, and not the least, is the level of purchases expected from China, Senegal’s largest customer for groundnuts and their derivatives: Asian power represents more than 95% of the country’s exports of unroasted groundnuts, while the country’s status as the world’s leading producer of groundnuts (16 million tonnes/year) in the Middle Kingdom is usually insufficient to cover the needs (18 million tonnes/year) of the world’s second largest economy… unless there is a good harvest.

The predominant place of groundnuts in Senegalese agriculture (in orange, the area where groundnuts are grown).