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Revamping poultry sector in Ghana

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It is also a major source of income for farmers in the country and its socio-economic importance in the reduction of rural poverty cannot be over-emphasised.
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Livestock production is an important feature of the country’s agriculture and accounts for 14 per cent of agricultural GDP.


It is also a major source of income for farmers in the country and its socio-economic importance in the reduction of rural poverty cannot be over-emphasised.

Livestock production is an important feature of the country’s agriculture and accounts for 14 per cent of agricultural GDP.

It is also a major source of income for farmers in the country and its socio-economic importance in the reduction of rural poverty cannot be over-emphasised.

It has been identified that broiler meat importation constitutes over 80 per cent of total meat imports into the country and broiler production has also been identified as the fastest means of reducing meat imports through local production or import substitution.

Considering the above situation of high import bills, it behoves us as Ghanaians to develop a competitive and efficient livestock industry that will revitalise the broiler industry and increase domestic production, reduce importation of livestock products and contribute to employment generation to improve livelihoods and the national

To achieve this, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on June 25, 2019 launched the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) initiative in Wa in the Upper West Region on the theme: “Self-sufficiency in meat production - a must”.

The RFJ initiative is to modernise and transform agriculture for food, jobs and foreign exchange through the rearing of livestock such as poultry, cattle, sheep, goats among others.

The target of this initiative for the poultry sector is to produce 40,000MT of broiler meat on a pilot basis by 2020 and scale up production in subsequent years.

Getting RFJ to work

In line with the above, two months ago, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, held a meeting in his office with

selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) across the country to discuss targets and ongoing implementation strategies for the poultry sector.

The minister indicated that the Planting for Food and Jobs had over the period yielded lots of feed such as soya and maize for a successful implementation of RFJ, particularly for poultry.

He, therefore, challenged the MMDCEs to take ownership of the initiative and select prospective poultry farms to participate in the programme.

The minister indicated that MoFA would release its lands to start the processes and equally urged all MMDCEs to acquire lands for the construction of farm houses within their administrative areas.

Collaboration

To achieve the above, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is collaborating with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural

Development (MLGRD) through 60 selected metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in southern Ghana to produce 40,000MT of broiler meat (20,000,000 birds) on a pilot basis for the first year.

In total, 247,480MT is expected to be produced in five years.

The MMDCEs will be empowered to select prospective beneficiaries/farmers and group them into clusters to enhance monitoring and distribution of inputs.

A cluster will be made up of 100 farms with 33 clusters for each project subject to selected MMDAs.
The MMDCEs will locate parcels of land/farms within their jurisdiction for the project.

Construction of the poultry housing structures will be the responsibility of the MMDAs, while individual farmers with their own capital can construct their poultry structures or existing poultry farm structures will be enrolled onto the project.

It is expected that local artisans will be engaged to construct these poultry housing structures to create jobs in the metropolises, municipalities and districts.

Government subsidy

The sector minister also indicated that the project would benefit from a 40-per cent subsidy from the Government of Ghana for a period, to attract farmers into the dying broiler production sub-sector.

He said the government, through the MoFA, would subsidise the cost of 1,000 - 2,000 day-old chicks, vaccines and feed for the first two weeks of production by 50 per cent.

There will be strict monitoring and supervision from the metro, municipal, district, regional and national levels to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the project to deliver on its goals.

Youth, women and other beneficiary farmers will be given practical hands-on training in poultry production techniques prior to their engagement as beneficiaries of this project.

Processing and marketing

The government is also bringing in a processing plant which will consist of slaughtering, cutting and packaging unit, cold van and refrigerated kiosk (mobile slaughtering plant) with a capacity of 300 birds per hour per truck.

The writer is the Public Relations Officer

Ministry of Food and Agriculture

 

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