Wednesday, March 22

  Rural farmers on milk processing skills acquisition

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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 livelihoods 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 that 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 specialised 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 days at Njau have been beneficial and engaging” stating that the “knowledge gained should be practiced if not it might be forgotten.”

Yoghurt business is booming; this can create employment opportunity for many as there are markets and schools where they can be selling these processed milk.

On behalf of the Director General of the Gambia Livestock Management Agency (GLMA), Sang Mendy thanked the participants for their time and participation in the training.

Eliman Bah, a native of Nema, who also doubles as the president of Livestock Owners Association, CRR north, expressed appreciation to the organisers for providing them that opportunity, adding that he has been selling milk for a long time but has learned new things that were not known to him then.

Kaddijatou Njie, a native of Lebba village, CRR north, said that in her village, they are mostly engaged in the sale of fresh milk but have never thought of making yoghurt from fresh milk. She added that if the knowledge learned is well utilised, it wouldn’t only be beneficial to one individual but to the community at large.

According to her, from the training, they have learned that milk collection and processing acquire a lot of hygiene – from the collection coming down to the processing of the milk. She hopes for the full implementation of the knowledge gained.