The lack of market has become a challenge for young Gambian entrepreneurs in the sales of their products despite the fact that entrepreneurship has seen a significant boost in the country in terms of number of startups.

“Market is a big problem especially for us in the rural areas. In poultry, where you fail is when the broilers have up to 45 days and you don’t have the customers. At the end of the day, it starts eating up your profit. If they have 45 days, any feed they eat is part of your profit,” Ousainou Saine told Xinhua.

He decried his chickens will be mature as well as eggs but he would not be able to sell them due to lack of customers. Normally, only the local people will be buying from him instead of hotels and restaurants.

“This is killing my business. It is frustrating me by day. We need big enterprises like hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets buying from us. This business is growing as many people are venturing into it so we need a huge and diverse markets for it. We expect that the government to create market where we can send our chickens and eggs,” he said.

According to him, the poultry venture keeps attracting new faces because of self-employment it guarantees.

Hailed from the Upper River Region of The Gambia, Kani Touray, a young woman, has described the lack of market as terrible.

“What I have experienced is terrible. Sometimes after I harvest my garden, I will make money out of it from my neighbours. But the problem I will later face is that, they become perish because I don’t have access to a bigger marker from where I am to dispose it at once,” she said.

Touray is hoping to see change in this aspect. She believes that with a well-structured market and a proper storage facility, their community will be free from hunger as they will sustain themselves as a gardening community.

A food processor, Marie Mendy also recounted her discomfort. She said big markers such as the hotels and supermarkets should be opened-up to them.

“We need them to have a breakthrough in our businesses in order to sustain ourselves. It is really important considering our focus areas of catering and food processing,” she told Xinhua.

Hotel industry that is expected to be patronizing local agribusinesses by buying their products such as eggs, local reared chickens and domestic animals as well as garden products.

On Tuesday, The Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC), launched a stakeholder forum with hotel operators to discuss the required standard producers need to apply.

“Market becomes challenge to many young entrepreneurs. We are able to bring 50 young entrepreneurs from all the regions to have the conversation with hoteliers,” Baboucarr Keeh, GYCC’s CEO told Xinhua.

The president of the chamber, Ismaila Sambou said almost 60 percent of the population are under the age of 25, and startups can play an important role in the economy, as a driver of economic growth, employment, diversification and transformation.

“Getting young people into entrepreneurship is essential for the future of local communities, the country and the global society in the quest to create employment and employability in realizing the Agenda 2030 of Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

The Gambia’s youth unemployment increased from 38 percent to 41.5 percent in 2018, according to Gambia Bureau of Statistics 2018 national survey report. Enditem


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