The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday added a fresh initiative to one of his litany of programmes – Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ).
The activity took place in Wa in the Upper West Region. The five-year module will commence this year and end in 2023.
During the introduction of the programme, the President said, “I 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.”
While launching the programme, the President bemoaned the steep decline of Ghana’s livestock sector, a phenomenon attributable to the high cost of production and competition from cheap imports of similar products.
He said the situation had led to livestock producers changing to crop production. The President presented a grim economic statistics of the country importing $400 million worth of meat products annually against the backdrop of local meat production accounting for only 19% of local meat requirements. He said the reality was an indictment on the country and it required the success of the newly inaugurated programme to reverse it.
Dubbed: “Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ)”, the President said the programme would focus its attention on breed improvement, productivity and production, development of infrastructure, feed production, among others, including the 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 six 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.”
The RFJ is similar to the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative by the government which is the brainchild of the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.