By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Gambia Angola China Global Group (Gach] is looking to create more than 5,000 jobs for local farmers, its Gambian managing director said last week.
Sait Drammeh was speaking in a Standard exclusive, and said the initiative will target farmers in the West Coast and Lower River regions to educate them on fresh tomato production. This will lead to the creation of mass job opportunities, he added.
The targeted farmers, he said, are located in farming communities with access to water.
“The factory specialises in tomato paste and mineral water production and will assist farmers by reducing the problems of post-harvest losses for tomato producers thereby providing job opportunities for the citizenry,” he said, adding that the factory was established to assist Gambian youth and women.
GACH Group, Drammeh explained, is incorporated to pursue opportunities in horticulture by cultivating, processing and packaging tomato paste in The Gambia and beyond.
“The idea is to empower the people, in particular youth and women folks,” Drammeh said, “to venture into industrialised tomato cultivation.”
According to him, the company intends to explore advantages in the Ecowas Trade Liberalisation Scheme – the main Ecowas operational tool for promoting the West Africa region as a Free Trade Area.
“We are currently getting our tomatoes from China to process and sell [it here in The Gambia]. Therefore, Gach finds it necessary to engage Gambia farmers to grow tomato and to [help] meet the demand on the produce,” he said.
Drammeh disclosed that Gach will partner others and the agriculture ministry to support farmers.