Tomato factory for Gambia soon

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Gambia will soon have its first indigenous tomato paste and juice processing factory, thanks to the patriotism of Abubakarr Jawara, Gambia’s honorary consul in China, under the vision, guidance and encouragement of President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh.

The factory, named Gach Global, is expected to create direct and indirect employment for about 120 and 500 Gambians respectively.

Mr Jawara himself was at State House, yesterday in the afternoon, accompanied by his managing director, Lamin Jagana and his uncle, Haji Kulay Camara, chief of Jimara District, in the Upper River Region, to meet and discuss with the president on their state of preparedness for the project to kick off. The factory is valued at US$4.5M, and it will be exclusively financed by Mr Jawara himself. The equipment for the factory are said to be in town already, awaiting installation.

Speaking to newsmen, shortly after the audience with the Gambian leader, Mr Jawara said the president had always been supportive of the project since the initial stages. He disclosed that President Jammeh had already instructed the Lands office to allocate a piece of land measuring 200m x 200m to house the factory, exceeding their initial request of 100m x 100m. The rationale behind the president’s decision, according to Jawara, was due to his vision and foresight that they might need to expand in the near future. He described it as a "brilliant idea."

He disclosed further that the factory, in the long run, might start processing fruits, such as mango, banana and orange, into juice and provide storage.

For his part, Lamin Jagana, the managing director of the company, said they would be providing seeds to farmers free of charge to further encourage them to venture into large scale farming to be able to meet the demands of the factory, which, he said, currently stand at 120 tonnes per day.

The project, he continued, will greatly help farmers by easing the difficulties they face in marketing their products, consequently improving on their income. "This factory has the ability to process and store products for marketing in The Gambia and overseas,"

Jagana posited. He then saluted President Jammeh for his support to enable them to establish the factory in The Gambia.

Author: by Pa Malick Faye