By Fatoumatta K Jallow
The president of the Gambia Livestock Association, Alhagie Kebba Jobe, has assured Gambians that there will be adequate rams for sale in the country and at affordable price for consumers. He said currently, there are rams available at Abuko costing from D5000 and above depending on the type and size of the ram that one needs to purchase.
Mr.Jobe explained that many factors caused the increase in the price of rams such as the depreciation of the dalasi against the CFA, delay at the ferry crossing and road check points, documentation of animals among other taxes levied against foreign livestock dealers etc.
He said Gambians need to know that most of the livestock is coming from countries in the sub region and therefore, there is need for the authorities to create the conducive environment for them to bring more animals during the Tobaski.
Mr. Jobe further emphasised that this year, there will be more than enough rams for sale for the Tobaski at a reasonable price in the sense that when the supply is high, the price will surely come down.
He added that as at now it is just two weeks before Tobaski and truck loads of rams are coming into Abuko daily; that this will be more frequent as tobaski day gets closer making their prices to go down even lower. Mr. Jobe also commended the new Gambia for creating the conducive environment for foreign livestock dealers to come to the Gambia and bring in more rams to sell to the people. He said the current Government is no match to the previous one in terms of the respect they have received; that the previous government was very unfair to Gambian businesses due to the unnecessary conditions imposed on them every day. Mr Jobe thanked the Gambian leader, cabinet ministers and the people and expressed dissatisfaction over the way and manner in which the former regime ruled this peace loving country.
He added that the former regime instead exploited them in their businesses. He said the issue of the high price of rams can be compromised by allowing non Gambians to import and sell rams in the country.
He also seized the opportunity to thank the Minister of Trade for her advice in terms of ensuring that the price of ram is reduced so that the average Gambian can afford one for his/her family during the Tobaski. Mr. Jobe also seized the opportunity to appeal to government to help foreign livestock dealers to bring in more rams to the country; that government should make life easy for them so that they can import more livestock into the country. He advised consumers not to wait until the last minute to look for rams to buy, saying the earlier they buy, the better.