#National News

WACOMP-GM participates in GCCI Trade Fair

Mar 23, 2022, 12:42 PM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

The Gambia component of the West Africa Competitiveness   Programme (WACOMP-GM), is participating in the 15th edition of The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) International Trade Fair currently underway at Bijilo.

The fair, which has attracted over 450 participants from the ECOWAS region, Europe and Asia, commenced on the 26th February and is expected to conclude on 27th March, 2022.

Held on the theme "Accelerating Intra-Africa Trade for the Realisation of AFCFTA Through Innovation”, the event seeks to avail participants the opportunity to network and promote their goods and services.

With funding from the European Union, WACOMP-GM is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and United Purpose (UP).

The project is aimed at increasing The Gambia’s competitiveness through enhanced quality compliance along the onion value chain by improving the performance, growth and contribution to industry, regional trade and exports of onion and other horticulture value chain.

In an interview with journalists, Mr. Malamin Drammeh, national Horticulture Value Chain Expert of UNIDO WACOMP, said part of WACOMP’s initiative is to increase quality compliance in the onion value chain; it will create market linkages for growers of onion and allied crops to meet potential buyers.

Therefore  WACOMP’s participation in the trade fair, he said, is one of the many strides they will embark on to create more platforms for their beneficiaries.

“We will support onion producers through various post-harvest activities including the construction facilities for curing and storage inconformity with best practices,” said Drammeh.

Ms. Ngansa Touray, project Manager of United Purpose (UP) component of WACOMP, expressed delight over the rainy season variety of the onions which are on sale at the trade fair for the first time in recent history.

This, she said, is a breakthrough and that it will significantly promote all year-round onion production as the initiative seeks to achieve.

Jimbi Ceesay, President of National Vegetable Growers Association (Sosalaso), expressed gratitude to UNIDO and UP for the initiative and European Union for funding the project.

“The initiative would go a long way in helping vegetable growers to promote their produce, network and learn from other participants at the trade fair.”

Ceesay and other participants at WACOMP stalls sold their produce and secured markets for those they are yet to harvest.

“This is a huge empowerment for women. We have learned a lot since we came here and we have sold our goods too. We have now been introduced to the use of measurement in the marketing of our produce and this has increased our profits,” she rejoiced.

Maimuna Jabang of Pirang Mansa Garden, another WACOMP participant, thanked UNIDO and UP for providing such an opportunity.

She consequently called on fellow farmers to adhere to standards and promote the rainy season onion variety for an all-year-round production.

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