By Fatou Dahaba
The holy month of Ramadan is regarded by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflecting on actions, and seeking forgiveness for sins. However, it is also a month to make big profits for the business community, especially poultry farmers.
Most poultry farmers scaled up production in the country during the holy month and are making considerable profits boosting a dynamic smallholder industry in the Gambia.
Abdou Aziz Ceesay is one of the country’s poultry farmers. He reportedly made a profit of D50,000 in the first 20 days of Ramadan. Ceesay’s Nyofelleh-based farm sold about 800 birds within the said period.
The young man has an additional 600 birds ready for sale with an ambitious plan to sell 1500 birds by the end of Ramadan.
“The sales I made during Ramadan cannot be compared to any time of the year. I dare not have over 1000 birds after Ramadan because I will run at a loss if I do. The market is only available during Ramadan because of the demand for local products,” he explained.
However, Ceesay faces a challenge in providing adequate feeding for his birds due to the expensive cost mainly driven by the Russia – Ukraine war, which now affects their production scale.
Aziz is a civil servant who employed other young people to work for him on his poultry farm, which is growing into a robust smallholder venture.
Mamut Touray is another poultry farmer living in Wellingara, West Coast. He told TAT he earned a D15,000 profit from every 100 birds he sold. Mamut’s expected payoff at the end of Ramadan could exceed D300,000.
The 18-year-old, who has sold 2000 birds from the start of Ramadan, runs his farm with the help of family members.
Unlike Aziz, Mamut does not solely depend on Ramadan for large production as he makes sales all year round through established contacts with restaurant owners to deliver regular supplies of dressed chicken.
“With or without Ramadan, I make sales, although it goes up during Ramadan. The demand during Ramadan is higher than at any other time, and our people are giving us the support we ever wanted. They are prioritizing our products, and we are achieving our aim,” he said.
It’s a similar story for Kebba Trawally, another young poultry farmer from Latrikunda Sabiji. He had 1000 birds, out of which he has sold 700. Kebba also expects to profit from D50,000 at the end of the Holy month.