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PROGEBE hands over mini dairy to milk vendors association in Sankandi

Oct 29, 2013, 10:26 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

The Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock in West Africa (PROGEBE Gambia project) on Thursday, 24 October, handed over Kiang West mini dairy to Sipobeh Milk Vendors Association at a ceremony held at the Sankandi mini dairy facility grounds in the Kiang West District of the Lower River Region.

Speaking on the occasion, LRR Governor Salif Puye said he was pleased to preside over the official handing over ceremony of the Kiang West mini dairy in Sankandi village, being one of his first official functions since taking over as LLR Governor a few weeks ago.

He said the laudable gesture will go a long way in complementing the government’s efforts in providing quality source of food for the needy beneficiaries of this area of Kiang and beyond.

He urged beneficiaries to consider the project as a baby and maintain it for posterity, hence it was demand-driven.

Dr Famara Bulli Sanyang, national coordinator for PROGEBE Gambia, said the protocol agreement clearly stated the roles and responsibilities of each party, and one of the key obligations of the project was to provide dairy facilities for targeted communities, which the project fulfilled.

He urged the beneficiaries to ensure the sustainability of the facility in order to serve its purpose.

According to him, the objective of the project is to promote the development of trypanotolerant livestock breeding on a sustainable basis, with a view to reducing poverty and improving the income of livestock breeders and other actors within the endemic ruminant value chain.

Asheme Cole, deputy permanent secretary for programs and projects at the Ministry of Agriculture, hailed the government for the initiative to support the livestock areas.

He added that the Gambia government has produced blueprints to address issues, including the livestock sector.

He urged the association to include the youth and women in the business, so that in future they will take charge of the affairs of the mini dairy.

According to him, PROGEBE is a six-year project being implemented in The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Mali, and Senegal, with funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the governments of the participating countries.

Dr Alhagie Ibrahim Mara, PROGEBE regional coordinator, said in 2009 when they visited Kiang West to explain to them what the PROGEBE project intended to address, many were not too sure of what they would end up getting from the project.

“But today the dream came true, and the facility is in place and prior to the construction of the facility, there were series of capacity building trainings and sensitizations both at community and national levels on different aspects of milk procession, hygiene, marketing strategies and leadership skills, among others,” he said.

“It is now your responsibility to maintain the facility for its purpose, and for it to be sustainable you must work hard and collectively in the interest of all members,” he emphasised.

He hailed the local communities for their cooperation during the construction of the dairy facilities, thus urging them to maintain unity among themselves in the interest of development.

Noting that the government and the project have done their part, he said “it is now your responsibility to maintain the facility.”

Seyfo Omar Gibba of Kiang West District spoke of the important roles played by the PROGEBE intervention in his district, adding that as leaders they are always making sure to further the aims and objectives of such project in the interest of development.

Dr Abdou Ceesay, on behalf of deputy director of Livestock Services, spoke at length on the importance of sustaining the diary facility in the interest of the livestock development in the area.

He stressed on three key areas namely, partnership, ownership and sustainability.

Aja Fatou Sanyang, president of Sipobeh Milk Vendors Association, commended PROGEBE and the Gambia government for providing such a useful project to its citizens.

“We will do our best to ensure that the dairy is well maintained and sustain for generations to come in the interest of poverty alleviation to become self-reliant,” she concluded.