In the Gambia, the biggest challenge faced by poultry farmers is the availability and the cost of expenses they incurred in providing adequate and affordable chicken feeds, which in no doubt caused the collapse of many chicken farms.
Lack of production of chicken feeds in the country and insufficient importation by business enterprises almost bring the poultry industry in the country to its knees, has now been solved by Astra Feeds, which is not only providing premium quality, but are now producing internationally recognised premix chicken and animal feeds in the Gambia.
Astra Feeds Mill located along the Tanji-Tujering Highway is manned and operated by 7 men staff with an extra 10 temporary staff, produces 300 bags of 50 kilograms premix feeds per day.
Astra Feeds is using Cargill Premix whom they came into contact through Cargill Consultant and their West African Marketing officer in June 2023 and by August Astra Feeds started to produce their own premix feed. They are the only company doing that in the Gambia.
Cargill is the leading animal feed producer in the world and Astra feeds is the sole seller of premix to local farmers in the Gambia to enable them to produce and sell their own feeds.
Astra Feeds imported ready-made premix from Cargill which they mixed with local materials to become a formulated feed.
The purpose of bringing Astra Feeds mill in the Gambia is for sustainability of the Gambian poultry industry, to locally produce and sell a premium quality premix of 2.5 percent that can be mixed with other feeds at a reasonable price.
Astra Feed Mill Company is also a ready-made market for maize and rice farmers in the Gambia. They have opened a depot at Brikamaba and Farafenni to buy maize and rice dust directly from Gambian farmers.
But the production level of maize by Gambian farmers is very low and cannot sustain the operational demands of the mill, but they decided to take their initiative to farmers to encourage them in farming rice and maize.
As of now, Astra Feeds consumes 250000kg of maize monthly, which they have to import from Senegal to meet the demands of the mill’s production.
In a nutshell, Astra feeds mill is ready to encourage Gambian farmers to grow maize in large quality to enable the company from importation and to produce more local premix feeds for sustainability of local poultry farmers.