The Ashanti Region will see two animals, pig and fowl being reared under the Rearing for Food and Jobs programe, another module of the Akufo Addo administration’s flagship programme – “Planting for Food and Jobs”.
Under the programme, only farmers already in the rearing business will receive four female pigs and one male pig, to begin with. The government will ensure that the pigs are well fed to increase their reproduction.’
The Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, Rev. John Manu who disclosed this in an interview with Ejura based Naagyei FM said a year later, three pigs will be taken from each farmer and given to other new farmers to also begin rearing them.
However, he said with respect to the rearing of fowls, government has taken a decision to supply the fowls to districts where there are no large poultry farms and later extend the programme to other parts of the region.
Rev. John Manu added that the Animal Production Department and the Veterinary Sevices are deeply involved in the Rearing for Food and Job programme to ensure a successful exercise.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday 25th June, 2019, in Wa, in the Upper West Region, launched the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) campaign, which will run for five years, from 2019 to 2023.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the programme “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”.
He 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 $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, he 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.
“In the five-year period of the RFJ campaign, it is projected that forty thousand, five hundred (40,500) small ruminants, mainly sheep and goats, thirty eight thousand (38,000) pigs, two hundred and fifty eight thousand (258,000) cockerels, and over six hundred and sixty thousand (660,000) guinea fowls, which will not fly to Burkina Faso, will be distributed to livestock farmers and would-be farmers, throughout the country,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “three thousand (3,000) cattle farmers will benefit from a programme of artificial insemination to increase average meat production. These planned interventions are indicative of the important attention now being given to the livestock sector after years of neglect.”
Farmers, who receive sheep or goat shall pay back in kind, with two offsprings per adult breeder supplied, and farmers, who receive breeding pigs, shall pay back in kind with three piglets for each breeding pig supplied.
Cockerels will be supplied to farmers at fifty per cent (50%) of the market value. Day-old chicks and guinea fowl keets will be supplied at fifty per cent (50%) subsidy to farmers, with farm capacity not exceeding two thousand (2,000) birds. Cattle farmers shall benefit from subsidised imported semen to improve the meat and milk performance of their cattle.