Ms. Agie Isatou Gaye, is the winner of 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year' of the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia's Rural Youth Awards 2019.
Ms. Gaye is the proprietress of Dundugee Poultry Farm situated in her native town of Sukuta, West Coast Region (WCR). She won this award category during the Rural Youth Awards held on 27th April, 2019 at Wuli and Sandu Development Agency (WASDA) in Wuli West, in the Upper River Region (URR).
She was among 10 selected award winners of different categories, out of 30 nominees, and are entitled to receive a cash prize of D35,000.00 each and a certificate.
During the performance assessment by GYIN Gambia, Ms Gaye said her poultry house had a length of 14.4M and breath of 8.4M and is currently housing over seven hundred layer birds. Now, with this award she will extend her housing and her newly completed house will have the capacity to accommodate up to one thousand birds.
Her next plan, she said, is to use the second disbursement of funds to buy bags of quality 'Feed' for her birds, which is a very important input, in the poultry business.
She thanked the Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Insecurity in the Sahel (P2RS), The Gambia - co-funder of the Nema Project - for supporting GYIN to implement the Rural Youth Award programme, and for providing all the cash prizes to all the award winners and by extension helping the young people of the country to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. She also commended the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) for partly financing the programme.
Reacting to Ms Gaye's achievements, Mr. Banky Njie, Business Development Officer of the P2RS/Nema Projects, and who doubled as chairman of the Awards Select Committee, said he was thrilled at the quality of the submissions and the committee found it extremely difficult to choose among the nominations. He said there could only be one prize winner; however he considers all the young budding entrepreneurs who were nominated as winners, because if they continued what they were doing, they are bound to become successful in their own rights.
He said "I only wished we could have awarded all of them with cash prizes". He went on to say "I am proud of what our various projects (P2RS and Nema) are doing with regards to youth employment, in creating incentives for our young people to engage in business opportunities within the agricultural value chains that include production, value addition and marketing opportunities... It is only when you provide opportunities that they can be strategically placed, to take up roles as change agents because they can easily embrace new farming technologies and techniques, they can train others and this will be definitely a shift from the old, low return and unproductive subsistence form of agriculture to the revolutionized market driven production aimed at meeting the market needs."
Mr. Njie commended the efforts of Ms. Gaye saying that award winners are expected to become champions in their regions and 'that's what Ms. Gaye has demonstrated.
The Rural Youth Awards, through the P2RS/Nema projects and other supporting donors is designed to recognize and celebrate the achievements of rural youth in Entrepreneurship and Agribusiness. It not only provides some financial support to deserving rural youths, but also provides coaching, mentoring and continuous agribusiness training.
The Chairperson of the Rural Youth Awards 2019, Mr. Sarjo Jarju, while presenting the payment to Ms Gaye, congratulated her for winning that award category. He encouraged her to work harder to become one of the most successful female poultry entrepreneurs in the country.