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Livestock sector contributes 29.6% to agric GDP

Feb 25, 2014, 10:04 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Isatou Yabo, a senior assistance secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture has outlined the importance attached to the department of livestock, saying the livestock sector in The Gambia contributes 29.6 per cent to the Agricultural GDP and 8.6 per cent to the National GDP.

She made this statement on behalf of the permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, at a validation seminar on the participatory Institutional Diagnoses of the Gambia Indigenous Livestock Multipliers Association (GILMA), held at the Baobab Hotel on Friday.

The validation forum, organized by International Trypanotolerance Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture, was meant for the Revitalization of the GILMA organization.

The ITC/WALIC on behalf of PROGEBE-Gambia consulted West African Rural Foundation (WARF), to conduct a participatory Institutional Diagnosis of the Association, she disclosed.

In response to this request, she added, WARF embarked on various activities involving the GILMA members; therefore the forum served as a medium for the Warf to present and discuss preliminary findings of the GILMA revitalization process.

Ms Yarbo said the Government of The Gambia under President Yahya Jammeh was committed to the development of the agricultural sector as evident in the endorsed Agriculture and National Resources Policy, ANR policy, 2009-2015.

According to her, the strategic objectives of the policy are the achievement of national food and nutrition security, a strengthened ANR sector through commercialization, and strengthened public and private sectors to render the needed services and sustainable natural resources base.

She noted that the policy recognised the significant role commercialized livestock enterprise could play to satisfy national demands for meat products.

Therefore, she added, the validation, which was the revitalization of Gambia Indigenous livestock Multiplier Association GILMA,was in line with the Agricultural sector policy, putting into consideration the type of Transboundary Animal Disease in the region, local breeds of livestock in The Gambiacould survive them compared to the exotic breed.

The director general of NARI, Babou Jobe, said the livestock subsector plays an important role in the economic, social and cultural lives of Africa.

He noted that with this central socioeconomic role, it was increasingly becoming very evident that the problem of low productivity, resources degradation, and non-sustainability of agriculture remains a serious threat to the survival of the populace.

Hence, he went on, there is need to improve the productive potential of the livestock sector, especially under communal system by the use of locally adapted breeds and a well though-out feeding strategy.