Thursday, December 2, 2021
Home News National News 3 Million livestock business Rundown by COVID-19

3 Million livestock business Rundown by COVID-19

By Fatou Dahaba
The Covid-19 containment measures put in place by the government in March 2020 are already affecting livelihoods in The Gambia. Several socio-economic activities have ceased. Remittances from abroad may also dwindled.
This has forced many people in the informal sector of the economy to venture into crop and horticultural production to sustain lives and livelihoods. As a result, forest area, cattle routes and grazing areas are at risk of being cleared for farming.
The border closure prevents transhumance and thus aggravating competition for productive land amongst livestock farmers in The Gambia, with an increase in potential and actual serious conflicts over lack of support and access to water for livestock.
Sally Jeng one of the biggest livestock dealer in Abuko Abattoir has lost her business due to COVID-19.
Today Sally does not even own a single ram, goat or cattle because her business has successfully collapsed after her animals gets stock in her hand as market was not going during the early days of the pandemic.
She started her business with three million dalasi, which she bought her livestock from the neighboring country Senegal.
According to her the business is growing fast to the extend that when she buy a lorry full of animals it does not take her two weeks to sold out them but covid has fade this away as it took her three to four months to sell since the advent or the global pandemic.
“ I started this business four to five years ago and since then I never get stock till end of last year when most of the animals die in my hand because I could not sell them on time and feeding was expensive as well.”
Sally believes that the closure of the local market commonly called ‘lumo’ and the border are one of the biggest challenge that affects her business immensely as movement was restricted and business was no longer as usual.
It could be recalled that sometime back last year a group of livestock dealers through their umbrella body of the National Livestock Owners Association has called on the Gambia government to help reopen weekly markets locally known as “Lumo”.
The association made this call during a press conference at its offices in Brikama.
Modou Sowe, the association’s secretary general said the closure of the weekly markets has drastically affected the livestock farmers.
He added: “the government needs to know that without the ‘lumos,’ the main market (Abuko) will not be functional as expected.”
According to him, without the weekly markets the public will not have access to meat and other livestock products
“Based on this fact we are appealing to government to consider the plight of the farmers in re-opening of the ‘lumos,’ so that the farmers will be able to sell their livestock and also the dealers will be able to go to the ‘lumos’ and get the livestock to sell. We also want the government to understand that support has been going around but we at livestock farmers we need more support,” Sowe said
Mam Sainabou Njie another female livestock dealer at Abuko Abattoir said the government has sideline them in the Covid-19 relief fund.
She said she never get any support from government or their line ministry to help her grow her business up to date.
Sainabou like Sally is also sent home because her business collapsed and has no means of starting all over again.
‘The negative thing is that business get stocked and prices escalate so I can no longer afford the price because what I bought them for and feeding them is totally different.’
Ebrima Jallow president of livestock association said .proper training on livestock and business management , financial support is what livestock dealers need to improve in the sector.
He said the government of the Gambia should properly asses the damage caused by COVID-19 and support should be given to them to repromoted their business because products are very expensive.
He said another possible way could also to link them micro finance with zero percent interest or very low interest. ‘Also to link them with local Lumos where they can buy directly without any interference of middle men who will increase the price. Linking them to farmers who sell their animals direct from the farmer is also a possible way of helping them to grow their business.’
He further explained that as an association they claim for all livestock dealers to be compensated and to be given support like any other sector.
This story was produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), through its Mobilizing Media in the Fight Against COVID-19 in partnership with Mai-Media and Dailynews.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Investors, partners rally behind initiative to build battery-electric vehicles

By Fatou Dahaba As the global transition towards renewable energy and carbon neutrality spurs demand for electric vehicles to replace fossil fuel engines, the Democratic...

Truth Commission calls for prosecution of ex-officials

Government should initiate procedures to investigate Yahya Jammeh and associates (Banjul, November 25, 2021) - The Gambian truth commission’s call for the prosecution of former...

Gambia Secures $40 million for an Inclusive, Resilient and Competitive Agriculture

The World Bank Board today approved $40 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* to promote the development of inclusive, resilient, and competitive agricultural...

BFoTG donates to 258 sponsors students

Belgium Friends of The Gambia (BFoTG), who arrived in the country last week, have commenced donation of educational, health and agricultural items to their...