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US$1M scheme to empower Gambian poultry farmers

An out-grower scheme, financed at the tune of US$1M has commenced at the EMPAS Poultry Farm in Farato, aimed at empowering Gambian poultry farmers for the growth of the poultry sub-sector.

The project, supported by the Gambia Growth and Competiveness Project (GGCP), and supervised by the EMPAS Poultry, will support farmers at six selected farm centers in the country.The project further seeks to develop the six existing farms into commercial centers of excellence and in the process, create employment.

It is expected to provide practical business experience and to make poultry out- growers self- sustaining in a six-week long training that was expected to start on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015.Speaking at the orientation, the chairperson of Emholding Company, Edrissa Mass Jobe, stated that food self-sufficiency and national pride are the cornerstone for development, noting that an effective back-to-the-land agenda will not only provide food for the masses, but it will also create employment.Noting that poultry production is a natural activity of most poor Gambians, he explained that an out-grower scheme is easily adapted culturally and socially. The growth in demand for locally produced goods and services, he asserted, is an important factor for raising incomes of local producers, especially women.  Jobe further averred that Many Gambian farmers over the years, often with supports of NGOs and multilateral agencies, have commenced and abandoned various poultry schemes because of constraints such as; lack of hatchery, prohibitive quality feed cost and lack of a processing plant.

“The most important components of these arrangements are for the poultry out- grower\ farmers to have access to non-interest bearing working capital to be secured against assets and also the availability of medication, feed and technical support. The availability of a market for live birds and egg will be provided by the project to the poultry out- grower farmers,” he asserted.The investments in the poultry industry would have significant multiplier effects through both their backward and forward linkages along the value chains,” he underscored.

The coordinator of GGCP, Tamsir Manga, said GGCP is a $US$5M World Bank (WB) project that is working closely with EMPASS to support poultry out- grower scheme to provide farmers with capital.The training will equip the beneficiary farmers with the required knowledge and skills to effectively run their poultry businesses.

 

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