Gov’t distributes livestock under RFJ

Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA)

Government this month began the distribution of livestock under the Rearing for Food and Jobs, following the launch of the initiative, which is another module of it’s flagship programme – “Planting for Food and Jobs”, in June 2019.

Distribution started in the Upper West region, with about 1,300 sheep being having been distributed to farmers across the region as at the end of Tuesday, July 9,2019.

This was revealed by the Director of the Animal Production Directorate, Edwin Bekoe, at the Ministry of Agriculture, during the launch of the 7th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture (AACAA) and the Livestock Poultry and Fisheries Trade Show (LiPF) 2019, in Accra, on Wednesday.

Mr. Bekoe said the circulation of these livestock will be done on regional basis, which would allow for the use of customized tags in every region.

He noted that the government is half-way towards its immediate target in terms of the distribution of sheep in the Upper West region.

The initiative, which will run for five years from 2019 to 2023, will develop a competitive and more efficient livestock industry, increase domestic production, reduce importation of livestock products, contribute to employment creation, and improve livelihoods of livestock value chain actors.

In the five-year period of the RFJ campaign, it is projected that 40,500 small ruminants, mainly sheep and goats, 38,000 pigs, 258,000 cockerels, and 660,000 guinea fowls, are expected to be distributed to livestock farmers and would-be farmers, throughout the country.

3,000 cattle farmers are also to benefit from a programme of artificial insemination to increase average meat production.

Other livestock that have been distributed include cockerels, which has currently seen distribution in six out of the 16 regions.

Farmers into pigs rearing in the Bono-East and Ahafo should expect to start receiving pigs from next week, Bekoe assured.

Under this initiative, cockerels will be supplied to farmers at 50 percent of the market value. Day-old chicks and guinea fowl keets will be supplied at 50 percent subsidy to farmers, with farm capacity not exceeding 2,000 birds. Cattle farmers will benefit from subsidized imported semen to improve the meat and milk performance of their cattle.

Farmers, who receive sheep or goat are to pay back in kind, with two offspring per adult breeder supplied, and farmers, who receive breeding pigs, will pay back in kind with three piglets for each breeding pig supplied.

Background

Ghana’s livestock sector has been on a steep decline largely due to the high cost of production, and competition from cheap imports of livestock and its products, forcing most livestock producers to stop producing meat, and to concentrate solely on crop production.

The country imports US$400 million worth of meat products annually, with local meat production accounting for only 19 percent of the country’s meat requirements.