FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

2 April 2013

Gambia: 9,635 Livestock Presented for Sale

During the visit of the Regional Steering Committee of the Regional Project for Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock in West Africa (PROGEBE) to the Jareng Livestock Market in Niamina East, it was revealed that in two years (2011 and 2012), a total of 9,635 livestock were presented for sale at Jareng Livestock Market built by the PROGEBE-Gambia.

PROGEBE is a regional Project for Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock in West Africa born from the will of The Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal, to preserve and enhance the productivity of their endemic ruminant livestock. Addressing the Members of the Regional Steering Committee and Members of the National Committee, the President of the 'PASALI' Livestock trade Association, Momodou Jawo, said there has never been an infrastructure of Livestock market in Jareng before the intervention of PROGEBE, although several inhabitants of the district are engaged in trading in livestock.

According to Mr Jawo, when they heard of the PROGEBE, they the traders approached the site coordination unit and that paved the way for further discussion on the provision of the infrastructure and that the traders were responsible for obtaining the land from the village head (Alkalo) and the village development committee. He pointed out that after the acquisition of the land, PROGEBE-Gambia provided the infrastructure which was completed in April 2012 and that the construction works did not hamper much of the trading activities in the site. With regard to the management of the market, President Jawo told the visitors that the traders have formed an association call "Pasali" which has a government legal status and has a defined market management committee responsible for the day to day management of the market and employs few people for the security and cleanliness of the premises.

Regarding the facilities at the market, President Jawo noted that the facilities in the market include water supply, office, toilets, feed store, waiting shed, loading ramp and solar power light. Asked how they raise funds, Mr Jawo responded that they raise funds by asking for a fee to be paid for each animal brought to the market and from other petty traders. The money is kept in a local bank, the Village Saving and Credit Association (VISACA). As to how much is paid for each animal, Mr Jawo said D10 is paid for cattle and D3 for each sheep or goat. Continuing his address to the visitors, he said PROGEBE-Gambia has facilitated access to credit by linking the association with the Social Development Fund (SDF) which provided D1,000,000 (one million dalasi) to the association for distribution to its interested members with the association acting as Guarantor and that already 50% of the loans have been paid as agreed.

Concluding, Jawo pointed out that PROGEBE-Gambia site staffs make weekly visits to the market to collect market information with a view to assess the justification for the business case for putting up the investment and the figures show livestock numbers presented for sale during the last two years (i.e. 2011 and 2012). According to him, in 2011, 2023 cattle were presented for sale, 1,732 sheep and 1,182 goats. In 2012, 2,196 cattle were presented for sale, 1,495 sheep and 1007 goats giving a total of 9,635 livestock for the two years. Other than the Jareng Livestock Market, PROGEBE-Gambia has built two others in Kiang Jataba in Lower River Region and Nyang'a Bantang in Central River Region.

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