Sep 1, 2010, 4:31 PM
Speaking at the workshop, Momodou A. Ceesay, managing director of Gambia Horticultural Enterprises Limited (GHE), thanked the out-growers for attending the meeting.
According to him, the GHE is one of the investors selected by the Growth and Competitiveness Project (GCP) for Window 1 Matching Grant Facility for the establishment of a mongo out-grower and processing scheme.
In this programme, he said, the Matching Grant Facility will support the implementation of a horticulture development programme to test and develop the establishment of a commercial mango farming system.
“This year is better compared to previous mango seasons,” Mr Ceesay said, adding that hopefully next year would even be better.
He said they are hopeful that come next year the factories would also be stronger to be able to buy more mangoes from the farmers.
According to Mr Ceesay, the aim of the project is to support out-growers and sell their mangoes since most of them do complain that their mangoes are not always bought.
For the mangoes to be exported, they need a certain quality, he told the out-growers, adding that it is not all kinds of mangoes they buy.
MD Ceesay said in a recent meeting with the out-growers that they told them that mangoes alone would not be enough since the season was just in its second to third month.
They do not only buy and sell mangoes but also vegetables, he went on, adding that they have been contracting women gardeners and also buying from and selling vegetables to them.
Mangoes are the main focus for now, he said, but they are also looking into bringing in vegetables.
Mamud Sey, manager of the GCP, described the project for the mango out-growers as big, adding that it is a partnership between the government, the private sector and individuals.
The project is aimed at eradicating poverty and providing food self-sufficiency in the country, he said, adding that the project is to help mango out-growers not only to produce for feeding but also for income generation.
Most women in the country are not engaged in mango farming, he said, calling on the mango out-growers to engage women and youth in the system.
Speakers on the occasion included Cherno Ablai Mballo, deputy director of agribusiness.