The director general of the Livestock Marketing Agency has reminded people of The Gambia that as the holy month of Ramadan draws nearer, the prices of meat remain the same as they were last year.
Dr Jallow made this pronouncement in an interview with this reporter at his office in Abuko recently.
He noted that currently the Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency (GLMA) is earnestly preparing for the month of Ramadan in collaboration with the Central Abattoir/ Kanilai Farm to ensure meat is available and affordable during the month on a daily basis.
"The board still maintains the prices of last year and will be implemented by the Gambia Livestock Agency," he added, saying that prices are maintained at D60 per kilo for meat and bone and D80.00 for steak and D80 per kilo for sheep and goat meat. "There are no changes as yet," he said.
Dr Jallow noted: "The GLMA board has come up with some prices which will be submitted to the minister of Agriculture, who is the head of state of the Republic of The Gambia, Dr Alhagie Yahya Jammeh, for review before implementation can be effected."
This can only take place after the month of Ramadan, he said, adding that they have decided to hold on after the Ramadan, because "there is a lot of pressure on families to cater for rice, meat, sugar, milk among others in the month of Ramadan".
"The GLMA cannot afford at this time to increase prices, but the board has come up with very attractive prices which will be reviewed by the Ministry of Agriculture for approval," he said. "Meat will be available throughout the month of Ramadan since a lot of consultations have been made and funds will be available for the Agency to go and buy the animals."
Dr Jallow advised the dealers and butchers to avoid violating the Act by over pricing their meat and livestock. "They should sell at reasonable prices to help the needy and the poor during the holy month of Ramadan," he emphasised.
The Act stipulates that a person who violates it and increases prices illegally should be arrested and taken to the court of law to face justice, he says, adding that the penalty is a fine of D25,000 or in default to serve six months in jail.
He therefore advises all and sundry, especially Muslims, to guard against increasing prices unduly in the month of Ramadan.
Dr Jallow also thanked the Gambian leader for his intervention last year to reduce the prices of meat in the country so that ordinary Gambians can afford to buy and eat meat in the holy month.