Dec 1, 2010, 1:50 PM
Mr Manga was speaking during a day-long orientation session for out-grower farmers, organised by the EMPAS Processing Company with financial support from GGCP at the Farato Hatchery Farm.
According to Manga, the GGCP project is a World Bank-funded project and is meant to improve the private sector operators in The Gambia.
He explained that the project started four years ago, and it is a five-year project with an envelope of US$12 million financed by the World Bank.
He added that the project is in the final phase, and is meant to improve the private sector to make sure that they contribute to the socio-economic development of The Gambia.
“We started the project since 2011 and the focus was really on horticulture, but after the first two and half years it was felt necessary to include other products in the whole scheme in terms of development of agriculture, and that was how the poultry programme came in,” he said.
The project is here to help the private sector, and the objective is to increase production, create employment for the youths and women, as well as increase incomes through this programme, which is the out-grower scheme, Mr Manga said.
Through the programme, they want to improve local farmers to entrepreneurship, because to be a poultry farmer you needed to have the entrepreneurship skills otherwise you would not make it, he added.
According to Manga, through this programme they are going to make sure that apart from providing the inputs, they also provide entrepreneurship training to them to make sure that poultry farms or poultry companies are successful.
As pilot farmers in this programme, he continued, they expect that in the next six month they would be able to have more chicken and boilers ready for the market.
“We expect that at the end of the programme we don’t want to see ten farmers left, but all continue because if it is successful we will be able to attract additional funds from the bank, so that other farmers and youths will benefit from the programme,” he went on.
He, therefore, urged the pilot farmers in this programme to make sure that it is successful, because they have a major role in this whole process.
The master of the ceremony, Sherif Gomez, who is also a member of the EMPAS Company, said it was an embodiment of private-public partnership that the GGCP is facilitating.
It was to recognise them not only as poultry farmers, but to have a poultry farmer in a family and that is the out-grower scheme, he said.
Gomez added that the out-grower scheme has an objective, and that both EMPAS and the farmers would continue to develop and become the biggest poultry farmers in the country.