Gov’t launches ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’ programme

President Akufo-Addo has launched the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) campaign, another module of his administration’s flagship programme – “Planting for Food and Jobs”.

The campaign, which will run for five years, from 2019 to 2023, according to President Akufo-Addo, “will develop a competitive and more efficient livestock industry that will increase domestic production, reduce importation of livestock products, contribute to employment creation, and improve livelihoods of livestock value chain actors”.

Launching the campaign on June 24, 2019, in Wa, in the Upper West Region, the President bemoaned the steep decline of Ghana’s livestock sector, which has been largely attributed 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.

With Ghana importing US$400 million worth of meat products annually, and with local meat production accounting for only 19% of the country’s meat requirements, President Akufo-Addo stated that these grim statistics are an indictment on the country, and that is why success has to be made of the Rearing for Food and Jobs campaign.

Towards addressing the challenges confronting the country’s livestock industry, the President stated that RFJ will focus its attention on breed improvement, productivity and production, development of infrastructure (housing, plant and equipment, slaughtering, processing and marketing facilities), feed production and conservation of forage, animal health and disease control, development of communal grazing lands, commercialisation of livestock production and entrepreneurship development, and application of e-agriculture in livestock production.

“By design, the campaign will cover selected value chains in the livestock sector namely, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry chicken and guinea fowl,” he added.

With only 6 breeding farms currently in operation, as opposed to 28 in 1993, the President told the gathering that “the breeding stations that were closed down at Wawase in the Eastern Region, Wulugu in the North East Region, Doba in the Upper east Region, Busa in the Upper West Region, and Wenchi in the Bono Region, are being revived.”

Furthermore, the President indicated that, under the RFJ programme, the Wawase cattle ranch, currently in operation in Afram Plains, which is accommodating some 3,000 cattle will be replicated in regions that experience farmer-herdsmen conflicts, or serve as corridors for the transhumance.