Eighty-five youth and women entrepreneurs recently benefited from ten-day training on agro-entrepreneurship organised by the Na tional Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI).
The training was funded under the European Union/TEKKIFI Project, is being implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). It was held at the Rural Development Institute (RDI) in Mansakonko, LRR.
The training was designed to enhance the skills of the 85 women and youth within LRR on food processing and entrepreneurship. It also targets to strengthen the participants’ skills in processing pepper sauce, mango juice and complementary food.
General Manager of NEDI, Abass Bah said the training was in line with his institution’s mandate to provide entrepreneurial skills and opportunities for young people to enable them create business enterprises for job creation.
He thanked GIZ for supporting Gambia Government’s economic and social development agenda.
“This training has the potential to transform not only the lives of the beneficiaries but also it has great potential to transform the entire agricultural landscape for food security and employment creation for young people.”
The Gambia, he said, is experiencing wastage of produce and in flows of similar products from neighboring countries.
Mr Bah challenged the trainees to make the best use of the skills and knowledge gained from the training, saying it will not only help them in bridging the unemployment gap in the country, but will reposition the country significantly in the global economy.
“We are indeed glad to state that the concluded training was a huge success simply because four cohorts were trained within 20 days. Each of the cohorts spent five days intensively.”
The training modules, he added were on entrepreneurship and food processing.
“Additionally, modules on the business concept, marketing and general entrepreneurship were taught”.
Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Sutay Jawo also challenged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the knowledge gained in the course of the training.
He said the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports is committed to fostering the development of youth businesses.
He also reminded the beneficiaries that they were privileged to be chosen among many youths in their communities, noting that they should always endeavor to live by example.
Yaya Touray, representative of GIZ, who doubles as a monitoring and evaluation officer, challenged the participants to translate what their learnt into action.
He disclosed that GIZ is committed to supporting the trainees, saying the training will be followed by a six-month business advisory services mentoring for each of the trainees to guide them through for the sustainability of their business.
He also said that micro-processing centres would be established and equipped across the four districts of LRR for the trainees to use, stating that this would immensely help to create more jobs for women and youth.