27.8 C
City of Banjul
Monday, November 30, 2020

EMJ: food self-sufficiency, national pride, cornerstone of dev’t

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Edrissa Mass Jobe, the executive chairman of EM holding expressed delight at the positive response of the participants which he cited as a “clear indication of their commitment , love and care for their business”.

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He went on: “Our project which is the out-grower scheme was motivated by some core beliefs. Food self-sufficiency and national pride are the cornerstone of development. These core beliefs include an effective back to the land agenda which will not only provide food for the masses, but it will provide employment in great numbers, increasing the buying power of many individuals and consequently reduce poverty. Increased consumption of locally produced poultry will increase food security and create a market for locally produced corn which is an important component of the feed.

“Poultry is a natural food for most poor Gambians and an out-grower scheme is easily adapted culturally and socially to the village way of life, and the tourism sector has the potential to contribute to the increase in demand of locally produced foods especially in our out-grower schemes covering small producers and poor communities.”

Poultry, according to the social entrepreneur, is a value chain driver, adding: “The premise of the company is that the poultry system is highly inter-related and cannot be addressed by a single discipline approach. While we are not trying to be in all aspects of the value chain, we believe that our role is to coordinate the system including the parent farm producing the hatching eggs, the hatchery converting the eggs into day old chicks, the farmers raising the day old chicks to broilers or egg producing layers. The processing plant provides a ready-made market for the farmers, and the market management against dumping and smuggling that creates a disloyal environment engendering poverty and unemployment”.

To this end, Mr jobe added, coordination at national level, management and economic capacity are important, which the farm provides hence the need for partnership with out-growers.

Empas out-grower scheme project coordinator, Joyce Riley, cited a litany of Gambian farmers, who encountered failure in poultry schemes due to constraints such as lack of a hatchery, prohibitive quality feed costs, and the dearth of a processing plant. 

She added: “Empas out-grower scheme came to address these problems. The project partnerships we seek to commence have been tried and studied at great cost. We continue to be inspired by the need to initiate a well constructed and driven integrated value chain.”

A representative from the Ministry of Trade, Nfamara Jammeh, said the occasion heralded another significant step towards maximisation of the potential of the country’s poultry sector. He expressed gratitude to Empas for being a leading light in the endeavour to exploit the economic potential of the sector, while offering Gambians a source of livelihood.

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