A RESEARCH PROJECT ON MARKETING OF GROUNDNUT AND GROUNDNUT PRODUCTS IN THE GAMBIA
This project provides information on marketing of groundnut and ground products in The Gambia and neighboring countries and how it originated and its usefulness as a source of livelihood to over 70% of Gambians living in the rural areas. Local research institutions like NARI has came up with investigation of various groundnut species and their resistant to diseases and changes affecting groundnut cultivation.
The groundnuts or peanuts are originally South American, were they were grown by Indian communities. It was introduced to West-Africa (first the Senegambia area) by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Here it spread quickly, though faster in the interior of Africa than along the coast.
Cultivation on a larger scale began before 1830 in Senegambia, mostly as insurance against failure of the millet harvest, because of it's resistance to drought. The first small exports from Senegambia to Europe were reported from the year 1830. There fallowed a boom in exports when the potentials for peanut oil was realized. I industrializing Europe there now was an ever-growing demand for lubricating oils. Further, oils were needed in the production of soap, as there at the same time was massive campaigning for new standards of hygiene. And of course, vegetable oils were needed for cooking.
Groundnut oil, imported from far away coasts, were to become cheaper compared to the traditional vegetable oils used in Europe (olive, flax, sunflower, etc.). Oversea trade was introduced by the British, but soon taken up by Americans, French and others.
There was, however, an immediate response amongst the African growers and traders. Relying on existing infrastructure, local traders (Wolof and others), soon were to build up of a system of middle men and an advanced transport system. Production and trade thus expanded rapidly.
Americans, using the...