GAMBIA: Outgrower support increases mango production

by Lamin B. Darboe, Daily Observer


The coordinator of the Outgrower Project, Radville Farms, has stated that the increase in mango production within the Greater Banjul Area could be attributed to the major support the Project rendered to the mango farmers by providing them with D6, 000 (USD 152) worth of harvesting trays and the commitment from the project for Radville to extend the mango processing machine by agreeing for the project to pay 50% of the cost of the expansion.


Sulayman Mboge was speaking on Tuesday during a daylong general meeting of 2015 mango outgrower farmers held at Kabafita Nursery School in Brikama in the Kombo Central District of West Coast Region. Mboge said a lot of reasons including good farming practice and the success of the 2014 season all made the mango production successful this year, thus the country will see big changes in the lives of ordinary Gambians as the income base of these outgrowers has increased from zero Dalasi to over D50, 000 (USD 1268) from sales of their mangoes. For most of the serious farmers which is above the salary of most people.


He informed that during the period under review, the total amount of harvest was 712236 kg for 2015 compared to 332692 kg for 2014 which represent 114% increase in the harvest, thus total rejection of this harvest are 125945 kg for 2015 and 40900kg for 2014 representing 17.68% for 2015 and 12.29% for 2014.


“Let me send my special thanks to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh Babili Mansa and the Ministry of Trade for their concern for the mango outgrower farmers in the country,” he said.


Mboge appealed to the government to come out with plans to give waivers for the packaging as all packaging materials for export face taxing, which he lamented makes it uncompetitive when it comes to export “compared to our neighbours who are buying the packaging in their own country without paying for import duties and freight on the packaging”.


The coordinator further revealed: “During the season under review, five containers were destroyed due to fruit flies which have cost Radville Farms D1,100,000 (USD 27,906) just the cost of the mangoes paid to the outgrowers which did not include packaging, labour, logistic, freight as this was destroyed in UK.”


Lamin Jobe, Monitoring and Evaluation specialist at Gambia Growth and Competitiveness Project (GGCP), on behalf of the project coordinator, GCP, Tamsir Manga, said despite the fact that Mango Outgrower Farmers project is expected to phase out this year they should see to the continuity of its activities.


He called on the mango outgrower farmers to be dedicated to their farming profession, adding that it is only through dedication and hard work they can enjoy the fruit of their labour, thus stating that as mango outgrower farmers in the country they stand at a better chance to work with international organisations.


Source: Daily Observer

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