A total of sixty
producers and Small Medium Enterprises –SME- in agriculture and fisheries have
been recently trained on quality and standards for increased access to
international markets by The Gambia Standards Bureau at their office in Fajara.
The training was funded by Enhanced Integrated Framework –EIF- at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment. It was conducted in two phases. First phase included 30 enterprises and producers in the fisheries sector and the second phase also included 30 producers and enterprises in the agriculture sector. The training was focused on Gambian Hygiene Standard.
The EIF tier 2 addresses concerns through the sector competitiveness and export diversification project, developing strategies for cashew and sesame and building the capacity of producers and processors to comply with quality and food safety standards in groundnuts, cashew and sesame.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, director of The Gambia Standards Bureau Papa Secka said besides earnings from the Tourism sector, agricultural produce and fish and fishery products constitute the major source of export revenue for The Gambia. “Since Gambia is an agricultural based economy and most of our exporters, producers and processors are the most important since they constitute about 95%.”
He said the training is intended to equip the private sector with the standards and quality required to produce goods that will have greater international market access, saying market access for Gambian agricultural and fishery products have largely been limited by the inability to match the quality and standard requirements in lucrative international markets.
Sulayman Sait M’boob, chairman of Kombo Dairy Farm said the two days training was relevant since it was of a high quality and created active interaction between the trainers and participants.
“We have earned lot of awareness from this training as it has given us sense of responsibility and tools for starting,” he said.