Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
has launched the Rearing
for Food and Jobs, (RFJ) programme at Wa in the Upper West Region to boost
the production of livestock in the country.
RFJ which would first be piloted in five districts in
the Upper West Region, is
expected to meet the high demand for meat amongst citizens, increase domestic
and reduce importation of meat whilst providing jobs for the people.
five-year programme which would
run from 2019 to 2023 was on the theme “Self-sufficiency in meat production – a
Launching the programme here yesterday, President Akufo-Addo
said it would develop
and more efficient livestock economy to contribute to the creation
and improvement of the livelihood of
livestock value chain operators.
two decades, livestock
farming has seemingly declined in the country due to high cost of
production, and competition from cheap imported livestock
and its products. This situation has forced most livestock producers to stop
producing meat and to concentrate
solely on crop production,” the President stated.
said a credible data from the Ghana Statistical Service revealed that Ghana
spent more than US$ 400 million on the importation of about 300,000 metric
tonnes of cheap meat annually to augment the inadequate supply of meat
he said was an indictment on the nation, but had been made
possible by the several challenges bedeviling the livestock farmer and the
included inadequate agricultural extension services, inadequate processing
services, importation of meat at cheaper prices, inadequate livestock housing
structures, inadequate and underutilisation of improved breeds, and inadequate
and underutilisation of feed and water resources
objectives of the RFJ cannot be achieved if these challenges are not fully
addressed within the five-year period, consequently a conscious, committed and
more focused effort will be made to address the challenges identified.
RFJ has a number of components to address the challenges; these include development of
infrastructure, housing, feeding and marketing facilities, feed production and
the control of fodder,
animal housing and disease control, development of communal grazing lands,
commercialisation of livestock production and application of e-agriculture,
will cover cattle, goat, sheep, pigs and
guinea fowls,” President Akufo-Addo explained.
indicated that the government
would procure and supply at subsidised prices,
breeding livestock as
projected under the five-year programme that 40,500
small ruminants, 38,000 pigs, 250,000 cockerels and more than 660,000 Guinea fowls
would be procured and distributed to farmers, and 3,000
cattle herders would benefit from a programme on free insemination to increase
Akufo-Addo said the RFJ was
one of his flagship programmes highlighted in the 2016 campaign and was expected to bring in adequate returns as was the case under the
Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
charged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to devise strategic ways by which
information would be disseminated to potential beneficiaries on time so
that they would patronise
the programme to ensure its success.
his part, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the
government was determined to increase the gains of agriculture and improve
on the performance of the livestock industry to enhance productivity.
commended stakeholders for their contributions
towards the success of the programme.
said the ministry would use electronic gadgets and applications
to be able to manage
the data base of the sector efficiently.
Vice President and Ashanti Regional Chief of the
Fulani Community in Ghana, Mr Osman Bin Ahmed,
lauded the RFJ programme, touting it as a timely intervention to addressing the
conflicts between herdsmen and indigenes in the country.
said there were some miscreants who were normally travelling nomads and requested the immigration services to weed out such people and prevent
others from entering the country.
The President inspected and handed over samples of livestock to kick-start the programme.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR
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