With Omar Bah
In this edition of the Standard Farmers Platform, we bring you the success stories of the Gambia Youth Innovation Network, rural youth award 2018.
Musa Jaiteh, who is the winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018, is a 25-year-old young entrepreneur residing in Farafenni, North Bank Region (NBR) of The Gambia and the proprietor of Jaiteh Fishing.
Jaiteh mainly engages in buying and selling of fish, he also supplies fish to customers and as well provides fishing equipment to fishermen.
Musa Jaiteh, who said he was paying his school fees from the proceeds he made after selling fish, said he was mentored to be a fisherman by a woman fish vendor back in the days of schooling.
“I was also opportune to attend one of the trainings of EMPRETEC which availed me the opportunity to win the EMPERTEC pitching competition,” he added.
Jaiteh said he intends to expand his business with the proceeds he got from winning the award.
Baba Sawaneh contestant for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018.
Baba Sawaneh a 30-year-old entrepreneur in Njaba Kunda village, Central Baddibu, NBR is engage in buying groundnut from farmers and resell it.
He has been in business since he was young and has registered lots of successes.
Sarjo B Jatta the 1st Runner Up of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 is a 30-year-old woman entrepreneur from Brikama New Town, West Coast Region.
Sarjo is engaged in sheep fattening and she is said to have started her business with only two sheep.
“My target is to buy more rams and prepare them for sale for the upcoming Muslim feast (Tobaski) as well as other social functions. I also want to expand my business,” she added.
Fatoumatta Gassama, 2nd Runner up Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018, a 26-year-old entrepreneur residing in Kubariko village, West Coast Region, she is engaged in poultry production.
She started her poultry venture after benefitting from Sadis Poultry project where she was given a birdcage including 150 chicks and 12 bags of feed.
According to Ms Gassama, she struggled on her own to buy more chicks and to feed them. Currently, she has her forth batch of birds and that is about 150 broilers.
She lamented lots of challenges affecting her poultry production which included lack of drinkers, feeders and some of the medicines. Marketing is her biggest challenge.
Oumie Gaye-, a 20-year-old and the winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, said she is a resident of Panchang village, Central River Region north of The Gambia.
Gaye, a petty trader and also a vegetable producer, stressed that she started her business with only D75 as capital which she used to buy things like beans, coos, vegetables amongst others to resell them.
She said her main challenge is lack of proper storage facility and marketing. She wants to expand the business to open a big shop, when she has support.
Hatabou Jaiteh, the young Agribusiness of the Year 2018 award winner is a 35-year-old farmer and a graduate of the University of The Gambia.
The Kartong village native is engaged in banana production since 2006 with only fifteen (15) banana plants, he now has a big banana plantation.
Jaiteh was also a classroom teacher, but quit the teaching profession and also declined to travel to Europe because of his banana business.
He is now one of the biggest banana producers in West Coast Region and beyond. He owns two big farms (A and B) which together are more than 1000 banana plants.
Ali Sallah, the Young Agribusiness of the Year is a 34-year-old poultry farmer from Old Yundum village, Kombo North in West Coast Region.
He started his business in 2017 with 50 chicks but all died except, because of his little experience in poultry production but he was not discouraged.
Sallah went on to venture into the business again and in the process, he benefitted from the Sadis Poultry project. But again all his chicks died, but despite the continued frustration he continues to invest into poultry production with limited support until today.
Sallah is aiming to expand his poultry to be able to accommodate up to 500 chickens to meet the demand of his customers.
Modou Lamin Fatty, the runner up of the Young Agribusiness of the Year 2018 is a 22-year-old poultry farmer.
He is the chief executive officer of ML’s Poultry Farm in Brikama, West Coast Region.
ML’s Poultry started operation in 2017 to address SDG 1, which is zero poverty, and SDG 2, to address hunger.
Wally Jawara, contestant for the Young Agribusiness of the Year is a 30-year-old young farmer from Kartong village, Kombo South.
He started his agri-business after he was inspired by some youth of Casamance, Southern Senegal, during a visit there some years ago.
Shortly after his return, he started his own garden of 90m x 30m where he planted orange trees, fruit trees and vegetables.
He now has over 80 orange trees and some seedlings that he intends to transplant in the near future in another garden measuring 150m x 150m.
Lamin Keita, the Winner of the Best Packaging and Labelling of Products is a 32-year-old fish vendor at Tendaba Village.
Keita, a graduate, buys fish from Tendaba and transports it to Jarra Soma for sale. He packages fish for offices like Nema staff, Future in Our Hands and even to Senegal upon request.
He also transports his fish to Farafenni and other villages. He started his business with little amount of money but today he is among the biggest suppliers of fish in Soma and beyond.
Ebrima K. Jammeh, contestant for Young Business Idea of the Year is an 18-year-old emerging poultry farmer.
He is a grade 9 student from Kiang Masenbeh Village, Lower River Region.
Jammeh has a special passion for poultry business. He is now building a local house for his chickens, but because of lack of funds he could not complete it. He used to sell baobab fruit to raise money for the chicken house but that season is over now.
Mamud Ndow is a 31-year-old entrepreneur from Farafenni, North Bank Region and the winner of the young businessidea of the year.
He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ndow’s Juice Bar, a business of juice processing and production.
Established in 2017, Ndow’s Juice Bar produces ‘Wonjo’, ‘Daharr’, Baobab and other fruit juices.
Ndow’s Juice Bar aims to promote and empower made-in-The Gambia brand and reduce wastage of fruits and vegetable in the country.
The juice is pressed out of fresh fruits without any added ingredient or chemical. He owns a refrigerator which he used to preserve his products.
Nana Conteh is a 27-year-old smoked fish vendor from Tendaba Village, Lower River Region.
She started her business at a young age and her mother used to collect fish for her from the river to home where she (Nana) will clean and smoke the fish for sale.
However, Nana is now the one who goes to the river to buy fish, clean and smoke them then transport them to Jarra Soma for sale.
This has empowered her as a young woman not to be dependent on anybody but on her business.
Demba Keita is a 23-year-old entrepreneur residing in Sara Biram Kumba, Central Baddibu District, North Bank Region.
He started his bakery business in 2016. Having saved some money, he left for Libya with the intention of going to Europe through the ‘backway’ (irregular migration). He could not proceed after more than 1 year, so eventually he decided to return to The Gambia.
Upon his return, he continued his bakery business and produces bread for the community of Sara Biram Kumba and others. Sometimes, his daily production goes beyond three bags of flour, but because of transportation problem, he finds it difficult to supply some other villages and that limits his production level.
The bakery is also in a very bad shape and needs renovation, including roofing and other materials to produce safe and good bread.