Dr Carayol made this known while presenting his institution’s activity and financial report of the year 2013 to lawmakers comprising the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee of the National Assembly recently.
He said: “The main factor responsible for the upsurge of cattle and meat prices is because of the country’s low capacity to promote livestock production. Local production has not increased over the years to meet the increase in consumer demand… the unpredictable nature of prices of live animals destined for slaughter, mainly due to external factors, increase in cost of transportation, and the depreciation of dalasi against the CFA in recent times, in consideration of the fact that a very significant proportion of animals slaughtered for meat in the country come from the neighbouring countries and are purchased in CFA and transported into the country.”
The Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency was established in 2010 by an Act of Parliament to promote the commercialisation and marketing of livestock in the country and facilitate the participation of Gambians in livestock marketing.
Commenting on the challenges his institution faces, Carayol said the market supply of meat by local livestock dealers is impeded by their limited financial capacity thus making them “unreliable”.
He added: “There is lack of sufficient financial capital on the side of livestock dealers and butchers to ensure a reliable supply of animals for slaughter on year round basis. Most of the livestock dealers and butchers are not reliable and do not have the requisite collateral or ability to access loans offered by micro-finance institutions or other private lending sources despite GLMA’s efforts in linking them to such lending institutions.
“GLMA has a small budget and a narrow resource base compared to its mandate, thus making it impossible to carry out many of its functions. Since the inception of activities in 2010, the agency has only two vehicles at its disposal… In addition to the registration fee paid to GLMA by butchers and livestock dealers, each butcher or dealer pays 1,000 dalasis or more, annually to the local municipality or council as trade license, and the sum of about 2,500 dalasis to the Gambia Revenue Authority as business registration fee. As a result, small time butchers and dealers avoid or delay registration with the agency routinely utilising the services of agents of ‘operation no compromise’ to apprehend such defaulters and to ensure compliance. Although all prominent livestock dealers routinely register with the agency without delay, part-time dealers are difficult to identify and apprehend as they normally use registered dealers to purchase animals and pass through police check-points during the transportation of animals to terminal markets in Abuko, Banjul and Brikama.”]]>