By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Ousainu Darboe, the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, on Saturday presided over the commissioning of Grach Global Group Tomato Paste and Mineral Water Factory in The Gambia.
The Two Hundred and Forty Million Dalasi project is expected to create about 600 job opportunities for Gambians with a view to ensuring value chain, reducing post-harvest loss and as well as reducing the dependency rate and unemployment in The Gambia.
GACH global tomato paste industry is the first in the Gambia which is built to empower youth and to stop them from illegal migration.
Presiding over the launch, VP Darboe commended the CEO of the company and his team for their tremendous effort in complementing government’s effort toward youth employment.
“I am happy that this achievement of Bakary Jawara will benefit the youth of the country. This clearly demonstrates Gambians’ commitment toward nation building.”
The government, he said, is very much appreciative of this investment, saying it will create employment, food security, economic growth and reduce poverty among other thing.
Mr. Alagie Sillah the managing director of Grach group said he is very happy that the government has provided the environment for all institutions to contribute to the success of this project, and their partners like the Ministry of Trade.
Sillah however said this is an investment for both The Gambia and the sub region.
Babucarr Jawara, CEO and the founding of JACJA global factory, said this is the first step because they import the jam outside the country with 40% consumer, and the idea is to get raw materials in the Gambia.
“We want to bring experts to teach farmers on how the method and the target is to produce 120 tons of paste per day and as at now, tomato is being tested in different countries, like Senegal, Mali and other countries and they are ready to bring the best quality of tomato paste to The Gambia to make sure that Gambians eat quality food like ketchup, mango juice and orange juice.”
Adolf Manu, Finance Director of Grach said the project is moving well, adding that Grach is here to develop horticulture through cultivating a lot of tomato paste in the Gambia and to prevent tomato from wasting; as well as to produce enough to feed the nation so as to contribute to the development of the Gambia and sustaining the economy.
Adama Sidibe, the manager of the factory said they brought him all the way to Senegal to work for them adding that tomato paste is not an easy job to do.
Lamin Sowe, Director of Investment and Facilities said the process of the company has a lot of issue in our environment and the aim is to export the product to other western and African countries.