Tuesday, September 26

Minister Joof Visits Jah Multi-Industry Agro-food Plant in Banjul

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By Mariatou Ngum

Hon. Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment on Tuesday, 18th July 2023 visited the Jah Multi-Industry Agro-food Plant which is under construction along Bond Road in Banjul.

The Minister was accompanied by the Chief Executive Office of The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GiEPA), Mr. Ousainou Senghore, and other staff of the Ministry and GiEPA.

The visit was meant to enable the Minister to have first-hand information about the industry and the challenges they are facing or anticipating.

On arrival, the Trade minister was received by Mr. HamidouJah, the proprietor of the industry, and his team.

The delegation was taken on a conducted tour of the facility, which houses 3 warehouses of 114m by 142m and 120m by 140m and can contain up to 180,000 metric tons of rice, cooking oil, and sugar.

Speaking during the conducted tour, the Trade Minister described the facility as a golden store while commending the proprietor for coming up with such a great initiative.

“I am happy to note that over the last couple of days, 20,000 metric tons of cashews are brought in from Guinea Bissau across the border for the first time in three years,” he disclosed. This, he noted, is a signal that the restriction has also been overcome. Mr. Joof opined that while this is important, the reverse should also be possible – that they can take as much as possible to the neighboring countries.

For his part, Mr. Momodou Hydara, the Jah Oil Company general manager informed the minister that they want to get away from piecemeal importation, which is not helping the price and the country as a whole. “We want to at least get out of that range and then start importing bigger from 50,000 metric tons and above, which Gambia cannot consume even in 5-6months but the whole idea is to rekindle the export trade with the Minister’s support,” he said.

If this project is supported, Mr. Hydara expressed hope that government will register positive steps and the consumers will start seeing a significant drop in commodity prices.

“There are three warehouses and in total, it can contain 180,000 metric tons of rice, sugar, and cooking oil,” he disclosed. With this, he added, they can re-invite reexport trade whereby The Gambia will start earning foreign currency which they have always been struggling for.