Jan 21, 2016, 10:29 AM
Tobaski feast is just around the corner, as it is about two weeks from now.
All of us and stakeholders like ram dealers and the authorities should work hand in glove to ensure the availability and affordability of rams and other livestock in the market, so that the majority of our Muslim people who would want to buy ram or other animals for sacrifice are not priced out.
To attain such an appreciable condition or situation, certain bones in the fish should be plucked out.
It is advisable that the authorities waive some taxes on ram and other livestock sale.
Livestock dealers with their animals who have met the necessary charges at border crossing and checkpoints should be given easy access into the country, to ensure there is enough livestock in the market for people to buy at reasonable prices.
Waiving some taxes for them will certainly influence the pricing down of their rams and other livestock.
It should be noted that in the sub-region, The Gambia has the highest prices for livestock compared to neighbouring countries.
Currently in Abuko, the prices of rams and other animals are very high. They range from D7,500 to D15,000, which most Gambians cannot afford.
Some dealers have said the value of the CFA has shot up against the Dalasi as they are currently traded for 5000CFA to D400. This again will have some negative effect on the pricing of livestock from neighbouring Senegal and Mali, for instance.
The ferry crossing and checkpoints should also be hassle-free for livestock dealers, to ensure they arrive with their livestock much easier and with less overhead cost, to restrain dealers from unduly increasing prices of their animals.
Ferry services should be conducted in such a way as to ensure smooth passage of dealers and their livestock during the period leading to the feast.
Our security apparatus should also do all they could to ensure safe and secure business environment.
Meanwhile, Kanilai Farm is selling rams at prices between D4,000 and D5,000, which is considered reasonable and appreciated.
We would, therefore, like to commend the Minister of Trade for his foresight in the sale of livestock in The Gambia, by inviting livestock dealers and other stakeholders to a meeting to thrash out issues which can hamper the smooth flow of livestock business, as well as affect the general public.
Furthermore, it is good that it has been decided that this year livestock would not be sold around Westfield, but in Abuko, around the Independence Stadium and GTMI.
We would also like to mention that those who cannot afford to buy ram or livestock should not take the trouble of indebting themselves just to get rams or other animals for sacrifice.
We should all be mindful that schools will start reopening the following week after Tobaski, hence there will be lots of expenses to make to send our children back to school.
Furthermore, the well-to-do in the society should consider helping the needy in our midst, for that is what Islam teaches us as Muslims.
“Let’s remain our brother’s keeper ”