The management of the Gambia’s leading poultry processing company, EMPASS has called for government intervention in addressing their challenges and constraints to expand their chicken production business in the country.
The management of EMPASS enterprise revealed the company’s readiness to produce high quantity chicken, but says the company needs government’s support for duty waiver on fuel to increase their daily production. EMPASS management made this claim.
This disclosure came to light on Monday as they took journalists on a conducted tour of the company’s hatchery in Farato, where 1500 chicken is produced per hour.
EMPASS Poultry Processing Company was established in 2012, and has served as the new supplier of chicken for out growers and consumers in the country.
The company produces about 100, 000 chicks, layers and broilers per month but due to financial constraints and high cost of production they ceased operation in 2016.
With the new ban on importation of chicken and reports of bird flu in neighbouring Senegal, EMPASS management decided to rejuvenate production as chicken remains in high demand in the country.
“We have the capacity to produce enough chicken to feed the entire country but we would need the government’s intervention to help us increase our daily production by giving us a duty waiver on the amount of fuel we buy for our production,” said Isatou Sanyang, EMPASS’ Human Resource manager.
She added that if government supports them with a duty waiver on the amount of fuel they buy for their production, then it would help them to bring their production cost down little bit.
She noted that the factors affecting their prices are the foreign currency, NAWEC’s unreliability and the high cost duty on fuel.
“At the beginning it was market constraints because people will leave chicks in The Gambia and go to Senegal to import chicks. EMPASS has been here for a while and what we need for people to support and encourage buying from our own Gambians.”
Isatou, also fondly called Aunty Ida, further said that EMPASS permanent role is to create youth employment for Gambians, noting that they permanently and initially employed 77 youth comprising 90% women and10% men.
She revealed that due to some financial constraints now, EMPASS’ payroll is now less than 10.
For his part, Dawda Mboob, EMPASS’ Operations manager said that they always load about 25,000 eggs in their hatchery to produce daily chicks, adding that the capacity of eggs their machines take is about 38,400.
“The machines we have here can combine 115, 200 within 21 days and all these can help Gambian farmers because we are trying to discourage them not to go to Senegal or somewhere else to get their day old chicks. All can be produced here by Gambians and Gambian farmers can benefit from there.”
He added that they resumed operations to help Gambian people after a ban on the importation of chicken from Senegal, noting that they will produce 25,000 chicks every 10 days.
Mr. Mboob added that they are aiming to produce over 38,000 chicks in their fourth batch of production, while calling for government’s support for a duty waiver to expand their daily production.
Modou Mass Jobe, poultry consultant, said that EMPASS alone can create about 500 jobs based on what is available for them between the hatchery, processing and the upkeep of the area.