Aug 11, 2010, 2:29 PM
As part of efforts to ensure that a fair and reasonable price of meat is established country-wide, the Gambia Livestock Marketing Agency (GLMA) Friday held a consultative meeting with stakeholders at the Central Abattoir in Abuko.
The meeting which attracted many stakeholders in the meat industry was attended by the permanent secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Ms. Ada Gaye, the chairman of GLMA, Dr. Dennis Carayol, the director-general of GLMA, Dr. Demba Jallow, Hon. Paul Mendy, who is the Operations and Logistics Manager, Kanilai Family Farms, other personalities.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr Jallow said the objective of the meeting was to come up with a fair and acceptable retail price for meat, through a participatory and consultative approach.
Though the objective of every businessman is to make a profit, Dr. Jallow noted, he warned stakeholders that this should not be at the detriment of consumers, by hiking the price using the wrong weighing scale for meat.
He then outlined criteria, which he said should serve as a guide in reaching a fair and an acceptable price.
The criteria, among others, include ease of availability of slaughtered animals within the area, price of animals at point of purchase, cost from point of purchase to point of sale or slaughter, the purchasing power of local consumers, and finally, the average net profit of the livestock dealer and butcher per animal sold or slaughtered.
Dr. Jallow explained that the approach will enhance compliance with the agreed meat tariff (since stakeholders are involved in the price determination exercise), ease monitoring, improve the relationship between actors, and eliminate the use of a blanket price for the whole country, among others.
Hon. Paul Mendy described the meeting as important and timely, in the sense that prices in the Greater Banjul Area are a cause for concern.
He urged the stakeholders to review the current prices, and come up with a better price in the best interest of the country.
Ms. Gaye also expressed similar sentiments, and reiterated the need for the government and the private sector to work hand in glove, as government alone cannot do it all.
Speaking on behalf of the butchers, Alhagi Ali Gaye, president of the Butchers Association, agreed with GLMA for the establishment of a reasonable price for meat in the country, and urged his fellow butchers to participate fully in the discussions with an open mind, and with the consumer at heart, to come up with a good price.
Mr. Musa Njie, president of the Livestock Dealers Association in Abuko, described the consultative meeting as the first of its kind and a welcomed move, as GLMA has involved the butchers, dealers, middlemen and local authorities in the determination of the price of meat.
Meanwhile, the price of meat as agreed by stakeholders at the end of the meeting is as follows:
Meat and Bone from D120 to D100 per kilo; Steak from D140 to D115 per kilo, and Mutton from D125 to D115 per kilo, effective Monday, 24th October 2011.
Stakeholders agreed that this new price tariff will be valid for six months, and is subject to review in April 2012, through a similar forum.