Remove barriers in livestock production – Senegalese livestock expert tells gov’t
By Philip Tengzu
Mr Samba Djiby Diallo, a Senegalese livestock expert, has urged the government of Ghana to remove all barriers impeding livestock production and trading in the country to promote the growth of the sector.
He said difficulty in accessing improved breeds, veterinary services, feed and ready market for the livestock were some of the barriers inhibiting livestock production in Ghana and deterred many youth from venturing into the sector.
Mr Diallo, a livestock trainer in the Association in Research and Education for Development (ARED), was speaking in an interview at Tumu relation to the launch of the Raring for Food and Jobs (RFJ) programme.
President Akuffo-Addo, on Monday, 24th June 2019 launch the RFJ programme which was aimed to improve livestock rearing in Ghana and to reduce the import of meat into the country.
Available statistics indicated that 77, 871 metric ton of livestock was produced Ghana in 2018, accounting for on 19 per cent, while the remaining 81 per cent was imported with scarce foreign exchange resource to meet local demand.
Mr Diallo, thus, reiterated the need for the coastal countries such as Ghana to increase livestock production to help reduce the amount of meat imported into the country.
He also called on the government to subsidise farmers’ access to improved breeds, veterinary services and feed, and to facilitate herders’ access to market to sell their animals through reducing transportation cost including taxes and levies regarding livestock mobility both within the country and cross borders.
Mr Diallo also emphasised the need for government to reduce corruption within livestock trading to deal with illegal levying of traders and to ensure the security of herdsmen in the country.
He also urged to the government to formulate policies that conformed to the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) treaties, particularly regarding livestock production, mobility and trading to promote movement of livestock within the West African sub-region.
He said the structures of Ghana, including the lack of approved livestock corridors to facilitate easy and regulated movement of livestock from other countries into the Ghana did not favour herders moving into the country.
“Ghana is not ready to receive herders here. We don’t have corridors in Ghana for movement of livestock. A corridor supposed to have grazing site, rest camp, water, veterinary services and fodder banks for the livestock”, he explained.
Mr Diallo also advocated the need for journalists and media practitioners to be abreast with requisite knowledge and information on the requirements for livestock production, mobility and trading as well as ECOWAS treaties relating to livestock production to to educate the public on the rudiments of animal rearing.