May 6, 2009, 6:38 AM
It is not an exaggeration to say that getting a ram here in The Gambia ahead of the Tobaski is increasingly becoming a problem to many income-earners.
Affordability to get rams at cheaper prices has now become a major concern in all corners of our society, especially in current times when the demand is too high.
It has also become a topical issue in all corners of the country.
Concerns have been raised by the public regarding the high cost of rams this year, not only within the Greater Banjul Area, but also in some parts of the country.
It is now becoming customary to many to travel out of the country to look for one, especially in the neighbouring Senegal, where it is said to be cheaper than here.
There is no denying that this is making life extremely difficult for many, and we are saying something should be done to address what many described as an unfortunate situation.
Every now and then, we see people travel to the neighbouring countries to buy rams where they believe it is cheaper. This is creating more hardship for people, who in most cases lose their valuable time and resources on such journeys.
Government should look into the issue of taxation, especially of the ram dealers. The excuse almost all ram dealers give for the high cost of their rams this year is that the tax they are paying is too high.
We reiterate that every effort should be employed in putting a stop to this unfavourable and unfortunate situation, and with all possible haste.
For instance, the newly-established Livestock Marketing Agency, GLMA, should have got its act together by now; indeed, the GLMA should have been not only procuring and providing rams for Tobaski, but also puting in place and enforcing the mooted system for pricing and selling Tobaski rams (in fact, all livestock) by weight.
Such a control mechanism would not only facilitate a sense of fairness in the business, but also enable the relevant authorities to tax Tobaski ram dealers in a way which would be seen as fair by all stakeholders.
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.”