Idrissa Diatta, a farmer from Diattacounda, some 80 kilometres from Ziguinchor, said traders offer the equivalent of 60 U.S. cents per kilo at the farm gate, but are reselling it to exporters for nearly three times more, around 1.70 dollars. Abdoulaye Diatta, another planter, says traders sometimes claim prices are low because supply exceeds demand, or foreign currency exchange rates are unfavourable. "But if the dollar exchange rate has shifted, or there's really an oversupply, then we wouldn't see a single cashew nut plucked from the bush. But now every nut is sold. Right now, they're trying to swap us a sack of rice for two sacks of cashews: it's ridiculous."
Jean-Marie Badji, one of the much-maligned middlemen, says the price of unprocessed cashews varies according to changes in the world market, and traders are trying to make ends meet, not trying to dupe growers. "Look, we have to travel out to these villages to collect cashews. The roads are in terrible condition, and the truckers charge us heavily to transport goods over them. And we're talking about completely isolated villages. If we pay more than 250 or 300 CFA (less than a dollar), we risk going bankrupt," he told IPS.