Jun 18, 2008, 5:59 AM
Officials of the Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency (GLMA), last Wednesday concluded a three-day sensitization campaign targeting district authorities on the introduction of the cattle weighing scale.
The GLMA delegation led by its board chairman, Denis Carol, commenced their tour at North Bank Region covering selected districts before proceeding to Central River, Lower River and West Coast regions.
The tour was meant for officials of the Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency to meet the district chiefs, discuss with them the best way forward for cattle owners, cattle dealers and the middlemen to ensure there is a fair play.
Speaking at various venues and meetings, the director of field service, Ebrima Cham, said the tour was aimed at sensitizing the chiefs about the introduction of the livestock weighing scale for the purpose of determining price of live animals.
“We felt that it is necessary to ensure a fair price mechanism in the best interest of the producers, dealers and butchers,” he said.
He also said the GLMA deemed it fit to sensitize the chiefs so they could also sensitize their alkalos and the livestock association members in their respective districts.
According to him, massive sensitization will soon commence before the beginning of the month of Ramadan to be followed by the training of their field staff on the usage of the weighing scale in their respective areas.
According to Cham, this is just a pilot initiative which will cover twenty six buying points in the country.
During the sensitization, the alkalo attestation was also among the agenda that was discussed in the best interest of the country.
He also called on the alkalo to effectively use the attestation in a proper manner as it is a very sensitive document.
Mr Cham urged the alkalos to always use the livestock booklets given to them in livestock transactions.
For his part, the director general of the GLMA, Demba Jallow, thanked the chiefs for welcoming the initiative.
According to him, cattle weighing scale was existing but with the sensitization it will greatly help all parties to have fair play in selling and buying of animals.
Dr Jallow further expressed appreciation and gratitude to the chief for their collaboration with the security in the implementation of the weighing scale and on the fight against price control across the country.
He added that the cattle-weighing scale is not conditional, but optional to the cattle owners where to sell.
He expressed hope that the initiative will give an opportunity to farmers to guard themselves from exploitation.
He also advised them to be using scales as it will greatly help them in determining the price of their animals.