By Adama Makasuba
The Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency (GLMA) in collaboration with the Small Ruminant Production Enhancement Project (SRPEP) on Saturday, 20th August 2022 commenced training of Milk vendors and processors on the Hygienic handling, Collection, Processing, Packaging, and Storage of milk and milk products.
The training targets milk vendors and processors in CRR North (Njau), CRR South (Jareng), and URR (Basse) with the aim of training and building the capacity of actors with prerequisite knowledge and skills in the processing of animal products (Milk).
The Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency (GLMA) is an Implementing Partner to the SRPEP) a US$ 26.81 million project financed by the Islamic Development Bank.
The project’s main objective is to contribute to improving the livelihood of rural and peri-urban communities in The Gambia by strengthening the productivity and resilience of production systems and stimulating entrepreneurship in the livestock sector.
The project focuses on enhancing small ruminant development through a herd health support mechanism, increasing productivity through genetic improvement, increasing access to feed and pastures, supporting production and marketing management, enhancing innovations in product processing techniques, and facilitating access to Islamic finance through a revolving loan.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in Njau, CRR North, Amet Sallah, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the SRPEP thanked the participants for finding time in their busy schedule to take part in this important training.
He explained that the SRPEP project is focusing on sheep and goat husbandry enhancement intervention targeting rural and peri-urban communities in the Gambia.
“The focused intervention consists of four key specialized and strategically designed components, which are: improvement production, Processing, and marketing, access to Islamic Financing and support to capacity building, Master plan development for livestock value chains, and Project Management.
These three (3) days at Njau have been beneficial and engaging stating that the knowledge gained should be practiced if not it might be forgotten.
The yogurt business is grooming, this can create employment opportunities for many as there are markets and schools which they can be selling this processed milk at.
On behalf of the Director General of the Gambia Livestock Management Agency (GLMA), Sang Mendy thanked the participants for their time and participation in this important training.
Eliman Bah, a native of Nema who also doubles as the President of Livestock Owners Association, CRR North, expressed appreciation to the organizers for providing them this opportunity adding that he has been selling milk for a long time but he has learned new things that were not known to him.
Kaddijatou Njie, a native of Lebba village, CRR North, said that in her village, they are mostly engaged in the sale of sell fresh milk but have never thought of making yogurt from fresh milk while adding that if the knowledge learned is well utilized it wouldn’t only be beneficial to one individual but to his/her family and the community at large.
She further narrated that from this training, they have learned that milk collection and processing acquire a lot of hygiene right from the collection coming down to the processing of the milk and assured the full implementation of the knowledge gained.