The Gambia Horticultural Enterprises (GHE) has witnessed the recent graduation of 100 youths from a three-month intensive training which it offers on agro-food processing and vegetable production.

The Managing Director of GHE, Momodou A. Ceesay, disclosed, during the ceremony that the enterprise is a multi-purpose agro-business company meant to serve the entire horticultural value-chain in the Gambia ranging from farm inputs and machinery distribution, farming, agro-food processing, marketing to other services such as training.

According to Ceesay, part of the objective of the enterprise is to provides skills, competence, and job opportunities to youth involved in agri-business and agro-processing through its programs. He said:

“Investing in skills development through such programs will go a long way in creating and expanding opportunities for meaningful employment in the agricultural and food sector. The Gambia is currently experiencing the highest rate of growth in the youth and women population. Hence, the inclusiveness and empowerment of women in our socio-economic development cannot be overemphasized. If young people and women are trained and empowered to take a central role in agriculture, food production and processing will be an effective strategy to building a resilient food sufficient that will create economic opportunities for the youths”.

Speaking on behalf of the government, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Hassan Gaye, noted the government’s willingness to support such initiatives, as the lessons learned from the innovative program would be replicated in other regions.

“We are always looking for more innovative ways of maximizing impacts of skills training and enterprise developments, as it is the only way we can meet the various targets and objectives we have set for in our employment creation and youth empowerment programs,” he said.