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Shepherds and livestock owners association holds AGM

Dec 16, 2014, 1:33 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The Shepherds and Livestock Owners Association The Gambia Saturday held its sixth annual general meeting at the Gambia College hall in Brikama West Coast Region.

The AGM brought together more than 100 delegates from across the country and participants from the Senegalese region of Casamance, under the theme: “Transforming The Gambia into a nation of livestock exportation through capacity building, education, livestock health promotion and community policing.”

The AGM availed participants the opportunity to discuss with relevant authorities major issues affecting the development of livestock, such as cattle poisoning in gardens, cattle tracks, and feeding among others.

The secretary general, Modou Sowe, underscored the importance of the AGM, stating that it would avail them the opportunity to discuss with relevant stakeholders and partners on the successes and challenges, and map a way forward for the development of livestock in the country.

The guest speaker, DR Henry D. R. Carrol, noted that the AGM was meant to bring stakeholders, livestock owners, shepherds, butchers, representatives of farmer organizations and dealers nationwide to discuss issues hindering livestock development.

Also how to develop The Gambiainto a nation exporting livestock, as well as establish a platform that would represent all livestock organizations in the country so as to give a voice to livestock development in the country.

He advised members of the association not to take the law into their

own hands when dealing with issues such as cattle theft.

Marietou Faal-Njie, from the FAO country office, said efficient livestock production requires good management practices, which include appropriate feeding and health care, and the selection and development of breeds that are well-adapted to the specific production environments.

She thanked the Gambia government for supporting FAO to perform its mandate, and reaffirmed FAO’s commitment to further deepening its collaboration and cooperation with the government.

The president of the association, Seedy Deem, spoke at

length on the significance of the AGM.

He said the association has established committees in each community across the country, in order to help handle cattle cases.

He called on local government authorities to help reduce cases coming before tribunals with farmers, adding that certain issues could be settled amicably at their level, for a peaceful coexistence.

He stressed that cattle tracks, cattle theft and livestock feeding, among others, are among the greatest challenges faced by the association since its establishment.

He appealed to FAO for support in building the capacity of the association in the areas of livestock management, and of women in the management of small ruminants.

Deem commended the Ministry of the Interior and the police for their cooperation.

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Sheriffo Bojang, reiterated his ministry’s support toward the development of livestock in the country.

The permanent secretary Ministry of Local Government,

Lamin Sanneh, said the rural-urban drift has a negative impact in livestock development, and advised members of the association and district authorities to strengthen their dialogue on issues such as cattle tracks and feeding, among others, to find solutions.