A Gambian businessman (name withheld) says that Gambian agricultural products are not allowed entry in the People’s Republic of China. He made the disclosure during a recent interview with this reporter at his office in Serrekunda.
Many traders have fumed that Gambia’s groundnut exports do not directly dock in ports of the People’s Republic of China. Gambian groundnuts essentially go to Vietnam and rarely get to China. A similar fate befalls the cashew that either goes to Vietnam or India, but not China.
Our source believes that the government of The Gambia ought to act swiftly to engage the Chinese government to remedy the situation. He argued that it does not make any sense that Gambian agricultural products are not allowed into China.
According to our source, Gambians who export cashew nuts to the People’s Republic of China export them through the Senegalese port of Dakar because that is the only way out. “Whenever we want to export any Gambian agricultural product, we do it through Senegal and label them as Senegalese products,” he disclosed.
He lamented that even shipping companies operating in The Gambia refuse to transport Gambian agricultural products from this country to the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, the Asian giant opens up to neighbouring countries like Senegal.
“We said Gambia and Senegal are the same. But Senegalese agricultural products are allowed in the People’s Republic of China, while Gambian agricultural products are not allowed in China. We don’t know what the reasons are. Maybe the Chinese have some form of collaboration with the Senegalese government.
“We need incentives to attract the young people into agricultural activities in the country. The market for agricultural products is significant. When farmers harvest, they hope to sell and export, at best. How will Gambian agriculture progress when the biggest market in the world remains closed to our products?” he queried.
Our source also challenged the Gambia government to find out why the country’s agricultural products are not allowed in the People’s Republic of China.