Tumu, (UWR), July 13, GNA - Mr Samba Djiby Diallo, a Senegalese livestock expert, has urged the government of Ghana to remove barriers impeding livestock production and trading in the country to promote growth of the sector.
The difficulty in accessing improved breeds, veterinary services, feed and ready market for the livestock, he noted, were some barriers inhibiting livestock production in Ghana and deterring many youth from venturing into it.
Mr Diallo, a livestock trainer in the Association in Research and Education for Development (ARED), was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tumu on the side-lines of the launch of the Raring for Food and Jobs (RFJ) programme.
President Akuffo-Addo, on 24th June 2019 unveiled the RFJ programme, which aims to improve livestock rearing in Ghana and reduce import of meat into the country.
Available statistics indicate that 77, 871 metric ton of livestock was produced in 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.
He also called on the government to subsidise farmers’ access to improved breeds, veterinary services and feed, and also facilitate herders’ access to market to sell their animals through reduced transportation cost including taxes and levies regarding livestock mobility both within the country and across borders.
He emphasised the need for government to reduce corruption within livestock trading by dealing with illegal levying of traders and ensuring security of herdsmen.
“The government ought to formulate policies that conform 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”.
Mr Diallo said the structures of Ghana, including the lack of approved livestock corridors to facilitate easy and regulated movement of livestock from other countries 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 is supposed to have grazing site, rest camp, water, veterinary services and fodder banks for the livestock”, he said.
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 educate the public on the rudiments of animal rearing.