ELIT alumnus calls for online agro-marketing

Friday, August 02, 2019

Mr. Vincent Mendy, a resident of Busumbala in West Coast Region (WCR) and an alumnus of the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia’s Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Information and Technology (ELIT 2018) National Youth Summer Camp has called on the young folk to make best use of the social media, especially Facebook and WhatsApp, in order to reach wider audience for the marketing their businesses.

After graduating from the ELIT 2018, Mendy, a sheep fattener, created a Facebook page which he uses to advertise his sheep to attract customers.

ELIT is a 10-day annual summer camp designed to impart practical knowledge and skills into young people with funding from the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) as well as the Building Resilience against Food and Nutrition Insecurity in the Sahel (P2RS).

He said: “I have a Facebook page where people do contact me to buy my sheep. I am able to secure lots of customers through the social media.”

Mendy, who is also into cassava farming, attended the GYIN Gambia’s six months Youth Mentorship Programme on Enterprise Management 2018/19. He hailed these two entrepreneurial initiatives for augmenting his knowledge and skills from one level to another.

The Youth Mentorship Programme was solely funded by the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) Gambia office.

“The Youth Mentorship Programme as well as the ELIT has helped me a lot in terms of creating bigger market for my business. Before I had the opportunity to participate in these programmes, I used to call someone at the Abuko Livestock Centre to sell my sheep for me. Then, he will take his share and give me the rest of the money,” he said.

The entrepreneurship training, according to him, have enabled him to register his business, open a business bank account and keeping financial records of his transactions.

Inspired by a friend to venture into Sheep fattening, Mendy started his business in 2014 with financial support from his family.

As part of his challenges in the business, he lamented the lack of sufficient funds to regularly buy feed for his sheep. He also decried the change of weather which had seriously affected his sheep and eventually caused the deaths of five (5) out of a total of twenty-five (25).

The young sheep breeder appealed for support from philanthropists to enable him broaden the space for the accommodation of all his sheep, reasoning that the size of his current house “is very small.”