Feb 15, 2010, 1:28 PM
The Ministry of Trade, Regional Intergradation, Industry and Employment yesterday convened a consultative forum with ram dealers and other stakeholders ahead of the Muslim feast of Sacrifice locally known as Tobaski.
The meeting, held at the Trade Ministry in Banjul, brought together government officials and local ram dealers to discuss the way forward.
Addressing the stakeholders, Minister Abdou Jobe said the meeting is in line with President Yahya Jammeh’s call for everyone to effectively participate in ensuring the availability of rams at a reasonable price to consumers.
He encouraged and asked for stakeholders’ support, which is in line with the objective outlined by the President for every Gambian and non-Gambia to be able to partake in the Tobaski feast period with a reasonable and affordable price.
He welcomed the response he received from ram dealers, which he described as overwhelming.
He denounced the act of price-hiking engaged in by some dealers, saying that as a responsible government “whenever and wherever we hear that price-hiking is happening, we will engage the responsible persons.”
Minister Jobe added that they do monitoring and with collective consultations and engagement, as well as participation to ensure that things are done effectively through positive dialogue.
They would also continue as a government through consultative approach, adding that as the ministry responsible for trade, they would continue with the consultations.
He urged stakeholders to facilitate the availability and affordability of rams to consumers at a reasonable price.
He commended the municipalities for their contributions on the subject matter.
Alieu Ngum of the Gambia National Transport Control Association assured all of their continuous commitment to ease the transportation of ram dealers at a reasonable cost at all locations to reach consumers.
He urged their representatives at the various regions to avoid transporting rams in bad vehicles to avoid delay.
Ebrima Cham of the Livestock Marketing Agency commended the minister for his stand and initiative.
He said they have seen a great impact after last year’s consultative meeting, with a market surplus during the period.
He urged the Gambia Revenue Authority not to impose tax on temporary dealers.
Musa Njie of the National Livestock Dealers Association appealed to government to deploy security personnel to help safeguard their animals.