GunjurBiz: We Must Revive our Fishing Industry
Gunjur has always been a major fishing and fish landing site in the Gambia, contributing significantly in supply of fish and fish products to household consumptions from Gunjur to Basse, Casamance and the entire Kombos. With all the abundant resources that the Atlantic Ocean bless Gunjur with, most of the youths do not even know how to swim or sail due to thier disconnection from the fisheries sector and its business activities carried out at this beautiful sandy beach. It is not only a blessing for its fish productions, but also a heaven on earth for its tourism potentials, agriculture, and water sports. It is time to modernize and replace the continual extinction of the bicycle “Baa’na baanas” and keep their trade alive.
Now, let us walk through some potential business ventures that needs to be tested to revive this sector and make Gunjur a hub for fishing and its related products.
Be a fisherman: Fishing has over the years being culturally dominant sector peesived to be for specific ethnicity, making specific families more involved in it than others, that concept must change. Young people can earn couple of hundreds or even thousands in a day by signing up with boat owners and become part of their crew members. Neither educational nor capital requirements necessary to land this job. I strongly recommend you consider this trade, when you do, open a bank account, and save money every time you have excess and be smart on your spending. Be a fish seller: The capital required to start this business can be as low as D3,000 – D5,000, you can start a profitable fish business. Buy two or three ice cooler containers, all you need is to make connections with fishing boat owners and become their agent. Buy fish from them and save it at the ice plant. For a start, you can target families that regularly buys fish from Gunjur, Tanji, Sanyang, Bakau, and Kartong on weekends. Make your arrangements based on their weekly demands and make a supply. This could be weekly depending on their demand and make agreements to get your payments at the end of the month to encourage high repayments. This will give you a regular and steady income as well as help you in managing yourself and revenue better. You must get your selling point right to convince people to buy from you. You got to demonstrate to them how your business is going to save them the cost of travel, time, hassle, and guaranty supply. After understanding the market, your next target should include the supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels. Fresh fish is a gem in the hospitality industry. Always have your backup plans and make provisions. Should your fish doesn’t sell out, keep them in the cooler and save it back at the ice plant or still, learn some basic preservation skills like drying and sell the dried fish to your customers for their Ben’na kins, Durango, and Nyankatangos. Trust and belief in yourself and ask for business advice and help from people who can connect you to the businesses by the way of recommendations. Work through it, once you become a reliable sales person, everything will fall in place.
Abubakr Jammeh is an entrepreneur and a banker with over a decade experience in marketing and financial services industries. He is a final year International Business student, earned various diplomas in Marketing, Design Thinking-IDEO U, and various short courses in entrepreneurship management.