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Gambia: Call for fruit and vegetable factory investors intensifies

Mr Momodou Mbye Jabang and other horticultural scientists have been typographically drumming up concern about large amounts of fruit and vegetable loss during maturity and harvest.

It is estimated that up to 10% of the value of fresh fruits and vegetables is lost in the process of marketing (Fatajo, Hydara and Jabang).

One of Africa’s main challenges particularly in The Gambia is the processing and the preservation of fruits they sell very little fresh from the harvest and tonnes goes to waste.

Economic liberalization and institutional reform has reduced and redefined the roll of the state in agricultural service provision and the challenge is ownership by emerging private sectors.

The indigenous sectors, however, are reluctant to risk investment even in standardized processing of fruits more so vegetables, due to belief that the local market and consumers could discard their produce and go for the imported processed products.

Fruit and vegetable farmers, the majority of whom are women, could however be encouraged to boost production through the provision of a mechanism that can quickly buy and adequately pay for their produce thereby encouraging them to produce more, and in turn buyers, to either process and preserve it for local and international markets.

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