By: Kebba AF Touray
Yusupha Manneh, a 28-year-old Poultry farmer from Jinack Kajata, in the North Bank Region (NBR), explained his success story to our reporter after spending barely a year in the poultry business.
A beneficiary of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) Mini-Grant Scheme, Manneh was inspired by Modou Lamin Fatty alias ML Fatty, founder and manager of ML’s Poultry in Brikama, West Coast Region (WCR), to go into the poultry business.
“After I learned from ML Fatty’s experience, I decided to construct a house and then applied for the mini-grant which I was successfully granted,” he said.
The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is an EU-funded flagship project of the Republic of The Gambia implemented by the International Trade Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment and the Ministry of Youth and Sports with the objective of improving skills, creating jobs and generating income for Gambian youths.
The Mini-Grant Committee awarded Manneh D47,000.00, and as part of the disbursements of the said amount, he was supplied with 250 birds, 18 bags of feeds and 10 drinkers to kick-start his business.
According to him, after that supply ran out, he ordered another 350 birds as his second batch.
Manneh further narrated that his third batch coincided with the tourism season which eventually made the demand for his market to be higher.
“I decided to go for 500 broiler birds now to meet my market demand,” he said, adding that the past Ramadan was also a booming period for him.
He plans to divide his poultry birds to accommodate them in two different houses, saying he’s made an order for another set of day-old birds to expand his business.
“I used some part of my profit to plough it back to the business and deposit the rest of the money in my savings account,” he asserted.
Manneh’s advice to the youth folk is to believe in themselves and engage in meaningful income-generating activities.
“It is only we the youths who can take the lead in the development agenda of this country and make a difference,” he charged.
YEP Mini Grant Scheme
The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), through the National Association of Co-operative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG), brings solution to grassroots entrepreneurs in need of support to boost their businesses.
With the mini-grant scheme, Gambian youths with a solid business plan can apply for grants up to D47,000. The mini-grant funds is disbursed to grantees either as cash or as assets, but asset disbursements have been given priority where feasible.
The mini-grant scheme aims to tackle the problem of access to finance identified as one of the most pressing bottlenecks faced by youth entrepreneurs to set up and grow their businesses.
The National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG), the apex body for all credit unions in The Gambia, was formed in 1991. It aims at promoting and supporting the development of viable Credit Unions through sound and market-based business strategies. It works to develop and make available the best financial and non-financial services to its members at a reasonable cost and to fight poverty as a model financial co-operative.
NACCUG was formed and legally registered in August 1992 as the apex body for Cooperative Credit Unions in The Gambia and has the mandate to promote and support the development of credit unions across the country. It is licensed by the Central Bank of The Gambia as a Non-Bank Financial Institution. NACCUG is also a bona fide affiliate of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) based in Madison in the US.
NACCUG’s mission of sustainable development through credit unions complements The Gambia Government’s efforts in fighting poverty and socio-economic exclusion especially among the rural poor and marginalized groups in the country.