He said this operational cost has affected the livestock farmers in repaying loans.
He cited that the livestock farmers would appreciate repaying loans rather than putting 12% interest which they say is expensive.
Speaking in an interview over the weekend in Brikama, West Coast Region, Mr. Jallow stated that despite the fact that the two microfinance institutions: GTUCCU and Supersonic are identified to implement the 3 million dollar Small Ruminant Production Enhancement project for farmers, “the government can still look at ways and means of reviewing that 12 percent operation cost to better help farmers in their productions.”
He added that the objective of the project is to support farmers in their production to cut down importation of livestock from the sub region during the Tobaski feast.
“We all know how hard it is to rear animals, sheep fattening, feeding, and even the market is a big challenge for farmers in this country.”
“Therefore farmers are keenly calling on the government through the Ministry of Agriculture to consider the plight of the farmers with no interest put on top of their loans.”
Mr. Jallow on behalf of the livestock farmers said NaLOA is the apex body of all livestock players.
“We have many components and one of them is animal health and production which is the component that NaLOA works closely with the Department of Livestock service. Among other components include animal protection security working with the Gambia Police Force which is very effective.”
“We also have the commercialisation aspect of NaLOA. This is where we are working with the Gambia Livestock and Marketing Agency.
“We also have the environmental aspect which deals with the cattle tracing the drinking points and is expanding. This is where we are calling on all the livestock actors to be part of NaLOA to better advocate and lobby for their issues of concern.”
Mr. Jallow thus praised the government for the tireless effort to have this project for the livestock farmers of The Gambia. He described it as a job well done as it shows that the government of The Gambia has a concern for the farmers of this country.
However, he said, the livestock farmers are complaining very bitterly about lack of drinking points and also for high price in feeding and lack drugs for farmers upcountry.
But according to Mr. Jallow, with this small ruminant livestock project, most of these concerns will be addressed. He added that the livestock farmers will benefit from about 20 boreholes, 10 markets, 10 slaughter centres, 30 intervention sites and 15 drug stores countrywide.
He thus described the move as a good development and it will have a positive impact on the livestock farmers.