The Gambia has exempted livestock dealers from paying taxes, according to the country’s trade ministry. The decision was made to make ram affordable ahead of the Muslim holy feast of Eid-ul-Adha, locally called the Tobaski.
The country of nearly 2 million people has a majority moderate Muslim population. Over the years, there have been many complaints that ram, which is used as a sacrifice during the feast is expensive. Businesses blamed high taxes and customs duties for the price hikes.
The government, which had previously interfered by dictating the prices and threatening arrest took the new approach after last year’s boycott by most traders from Senegal and Mauritania.
The government has also said it will provide livestock markets with boosted security to overcome theft. The Gambia said it will also reduce ferry crossing fares by half for the businesses who are importing their livestock from Mauritania and Senegal and need to cross to the country’s southern bank.
Every year, the country’s President Yahya Jammeh also sells rams through his Kanilai Farms Enterprise.