of Livestock Services has recently hosted a three-day sub-regional seminar to
review the National Veterinary Legislation and the National Livestock Policy at
Ocean Bay hotel in Bakau. The African Union Inter-African Bureau funded the
seminar for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).
The activity was part of government efforts to improve livestock production and productivity for poverty reduction and empowerment of the rural farmer.
Permanent Secretary at Agriculture Ministry Ada Gaye said the creation of National Livestock Policy Hub through the support of AUIBAR is a laudable effort and promised to ensure that her ministry supports the body to enable the delivery of its mandate.
She said agriculture ministry has always been concerned about the country’s veterinary legislation, saying it is still not up to date. “Therefore, the opportunity availed to us by the AU IBAR to update the legislation is highly welcome,” she said.
According to her, agriculture ministry will apply every effort to ensure that the process is seen through to enable Gambian veterinary services to operate more effectively in its delivery of services to the livestock sector. “It is highly believed that the potential of the livestock sub-sector is untapped. Figures have it that the sector contributes about 8% to national GDP and about 30% to agricultural GDP. Despite being significant, livestock experts believe that these figures are underestimated.”
She said livestock farming has been and continues to be a major activity among the poor rural folk with over 80% of the rural population depending on livestock production for their livelihood and income.