By MUHAMMED SAILU BAH
The Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Intergration and Employment, Mr. Abdou Jobe, yesterday, 10 September, 2015 held a consultative meeting with livestock dealers and other stakeholders on the issue of facilitating the availability and affordability of rams to the people in the forthcoming Muslim feast of ‘Eid el Adha’ or ‘Tobaski’.
This consultation, according to officials, was initiated last year initiated by the ministry to bring together the various stakeholders in the livestock trade such as dealers, government, local authorities, security, among others, to discuss the issues and challenges facing the livestock trade with a view to making the rams available and the prices reasonable.
Addressing the stakeholders, Minister Jobe said the purpose is to encourage and ask for stakeholders support to ensure that rams are available and affordable.
The trade minister welcomed the response of the ram dealers which, he described, as overwhelming.
He urged them to desist from hiking prices, adding that they will be engaging in consultations and dialogue with them.
He commended the municipalities for their support on the matter.
Mr. Alieu Ngum of the Gambia National Transports Control Agency (GNTCA) reassured of their continuous commitment to easing the transportation difficulties to ensure the easy movement of vehicles that transport livestock.
He also advised their representatives at the various regions to avoid transporting the animals in unroadworthy vehicles in order to avoid delays in reaching the livestock points of sale.
Mr. Ebrima Cham of the Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency (GLMA), commended the minister for his stance and initiative. He said they have observed the positive impact that this consultative meeting had on last year’s rams sales. He urged the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) not to impose tax on the temporal ram dealers.
Also addressing the meeting was Mr. Musa Njie of the National Livestock Dealers Association, Samba Sallah of GRA and Mahtarr Njie of the BCC, among others.