Gambian Breeders to host “National Ram Show”

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By Mustapha Jallow

Gam-Sheep Breeders and Professional Sheep Breeders Associations governed by National Livestock Owners Association (NLOA), will be hosting “national ram show” with their Senegalese counterpart in The Gambia on 10 – 14 November, 2021.

As first of its kind in the country, the event seeks to promote sheep breeding in The Gambia and most importantly, promoting breeding as a venture with potential to reduce youth unemployment.

The upcoming Gamprass sheep exhibition will hold at Abuko, this month. It aims to show Gambian people how they breed and the type of sheep bred as well as encouraging young people to venture into sheep breeding to ensure importation of sheep (rams) into the country is addressed.

Speaking at a press conference, Ebrima Jallow – President of Gam-Sheep Breeders Association, said about 95 percent of sheep consumed by Gambians comes from their neighbouring countries, such as Senegal, Mali and Mauritania.

“It breaks my heart to see the amount money (millions of dalasis) that we spent to get ran from these countries,” he told the press. “These was the main reasons – we invest our wealth into sheep breeding in our own land,” he added.

Jallow further said: “We want to engage ourselves into a mass product on breeding, so that in the near future – the importation of sheep into the country will be minimized.”

This, he lamented, cannot be done without the support of the government, saying they need the government to formulate laws that can address these things.

As breeders, Jallow explained that they have been knocking at government’s institutions and only few had lent them an ear, but now, it has improved.  He also added that the government have given them space and contributed into the breeding initiatives.

He then commended the Agriculture Ministry for touring sheep breeders sites, which he described as ‘first time in the country’s history.”

“We urge government to empower the department of Livestock, so that we the private people investing livestock can attract more people to also engage into sheep breeding. I personally, I started with 6 sheep but now I have more than 300 sheep at my farm,” said Jallow.

He therefore called on young people who are busy investing huge money in the deadliest journey “backway” to venture into sheep breeding, and they later enjoy the fruits of what they have invested.

“Before spending D200, 000 on the backway journey, I will advise you to use that money and venture into farming and you will become success in Allah/God will,” he advised.

For his part, Ebrima O. Jallow, President of National Livestock Owners Association, expressed his belief that The Gambia Government will definitely support their endeavour to increase the production of livestock in the country.

“We all know livestock production in the country, by looking at the population is very slow and the demand is high but the production (livestock) itself is also very minimal, so this is an effort to the farmers. We need to come together and also collaborate with government to make we meet demands of Gambian people,” he stated.

In pass, according to Jallow, the farmers especially the livestock farmers were left behind, but things have changed for the first time in the country.

As Gambia host this “National Ram Show,” Jallow called on Gambians to come and witness this international occasion and support their farmers as well.

“Come and see what exactly the farmers are doing, especially the breeders,” he reiterated.