Gambia: Retailers At Serrekunda Market Lament Lack of Access

Retailers at the Serrekunda market yesterday lamented lack of access and space at the market.

They made the remarks during the visit of the National Assembly Select Committee on Trade that is currently visiting sites under its purview.

Some retail sellers at the busiest market in the country lamented lack of a garage, thus making the transportation of their goods to the shops a problem.

This, they said, hampers accessibility to their shops and called for remedies.

According to the women vendors, lack of adequate space in the market is compelling them to sell along the highway, despite paying their duties on daily basis.

"We would like the stakeholders to act with urgency to help relegate our nightmare into history", they appealed.

The Committee also visited MA Kharafi and Son's Company Gambia Limited, where Mr. Mohammed Elsaid, Financial Manager of MAK Foods, said MA Kharafi is a joint company by Kharafi and Sons and Farm Food (a Dutch Company). He said 80% of the Farm Food is for MA Kharafi, whilst 20% is for their Dutch partner.

He said they have two farms (in Kafuta and Kuloro) which have been operating together since 2007 culminating into the name MARK Foods.

He said MARK Food is mainly specialized in the production of onion and tomatoes under the supervision of the Trade Ministry.

He said their objective is to ensure that the produce reaches the market on time and be made accessible.

He said the company has employed 100 workers, the majority of whom are Gambians.

Mr. Amro Attia, Farm Manager at Kharafi Farm at Kafuta, said they produce 6000 tonnes of Potatoes annually and are providing fuel to the Kafuta Hospital. He added that they also plan to dig boreholes in Kuloro as part of their social corporate responsibility.

He said a bag of 20kg Irish potato costs D510, Onion costs D 410.

The Committee has challenged the sites to prioritize the welfare of their work and assured them that at the end of the day, they will write their recommendations to the Trade Ministry so as to curb the concerns raised by management and workers.

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