Coordinator of the Central Projects Coordination Unit (CPCU) under the ministry of agriculture has disclosed that Islamic Development Bank (IDB), through the small ruminant production and enhancement project will allocate and deposit three million dollars to the microfinance department of the central bank of The Gambia as loan to Gambia livestock farmers.
Abdoulie Touray said the loan, with a minimal Shari'ah interest will enable the livestock owners in the rearing of their small ruminants.
He said plans are under way to hire a Shari'ah expert as consultant to identify how the loan will be given to the livestock farmers with minimal interest. He said once that is done, everything will start, saying the small ruminant which project will be house at Yorro Beli Kunda in the Central River Region, where the majority of the farmers are based.
Mr Touray said the project will embark on various activities such as construction of laboratory, training centre, construction of meat stalls and storages countrywide, establishment of pharmacies and capacity building for livestock farmers.
According to him, the project is expected to last for four years and will cover thirty-nine districts. He said the objectives of the project is to improve the rearing of small ruminants and discourage the importation of small ruminants from neighbouring countries like Senegal and Mali.
He added that the aim to boost Gambia's agriculture production and productivity is to change the livelihood of farmers, saying CPCU has no doubt that with the composition of the project management and with support from the farmers, the project will be the leading success in the country.
He said the project will be providing capacity building training for farmers to empower them with the requisite knowledge in the management of their businesses through the value added chain.