By Awa Macalo
Continental Africa LLC, a US-based company in Delaware which plans to operate a moringa biodiesel intensive farming project in the country, has urged the Gambia Government to provide a 40 percent back-up as a guarantee for the commencement of its project worth $325 million in the country.
The project targets to cultivate 30,000 hectares of land with biodiesel plants to generate clean fuel, cultivate perennial crops including moringa, establish beekeeping and create Aquoponic-integrated fish and farming.
Addressing a press conference held at the Paradise hotel, the president of the Continental Africa LLC, Lamin Bah, explained that his organisation has initially received a fitting response from the state with several correspondences outlining government’s commitment to take up the initiative.
According to Mr. Bah, the organisation held several discussions with relevant stakeholders concerned in the project, including President Adama Barrow who also assured of his support.
“We got the funding from our investors but our major challenge at the moment is security from the government. Though they had provided us with comfort letters to investors, but that is not enough. We need a 40percent guarantee from the Government for the project to start,” Bah said.
“We were convinced that the project was going to hold since we have already acquired land in Kiang through the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government. Our business plan is already completed and we have also assembled a technical team to lead and implement the project as well as conduct partial visibility study. So, all we want is the security from the government,” Bah added.
Bah further expressed that the funds given by investors are not a loan because the investors will only serve as shareholders and want to be guaranteed by the state that they are not just investing in vain but into something that will yield benefits for the country.
If implemented, the project, according to Mr. Bah, will seek to address irregular migration by providing ninety thousand (90,000) job opportunities to the youths with the minimum wage of ten thousand dalasi (D10,000).
He said a community would be set up and accorded with modern health facilities and housing for its employees.