A consortium of four organisations with speciality in livestock care has launched a project to increase access to quality animal feed at a lower cost to livestock farmers in the Gushegu and Bawku Municipalities.
The project dubbed: “Intensification of the Production of Quality Slaughter Animals in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana”, also seeks to increase the supply of animals with high meat potentials and develop niche markets by producing heavy cattle, bulls and sheep for festive occasions.
The Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), Pong-Tamale Livestock Breeding Station, Department of Animal Science of the University for Development Studies, and Livestock Dealers Association of Bawku are implementing the project.
The two-year project is under the auspices of the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food of the ECOWAS Commission and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The beneficiaries of the project include livestock and meat sector professionals, who earn income from livestock activities (small–scale breeders, pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, fatteners), marketing (traders, exporters), processing (wholesale, butchers, slaughter butchers), distribution (butchers) and forage producers.
Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, Executive Director of GDCA, who spoke during the launch of the project at Gushegu in the Northern Region, said the project held many prospects for the development of the livestock industry in the country.
Under the project, the capacity of farmers, traders, feed producers, meat processors, and agricultural field staff, among other stakeholders in the Gushegu and Bawku Municipalities would be built to deepen their knowledge and sharpen their skills in ensuring the availability of the requisite competencies at various levels for the development of the livestock industry.
The stakeholders would also be trained on forage conservation and utilisation, disease control and preventive measures to ensure availability of quality animal feed and water resources as well as improved animal health and reduction of incidences of disease.
The project would also procure and supply heavy and fast-growing breeds of cattle and sheep as part of its implementation activities.
Alhaji Abdel-Rahman said the project’s implementing partners would rely on the commitment of the Gushegu and Bawku Municipalities, opinion leaders and other stakeholders to play their parts to ensure the success of the project.
Mr Abdul-Razak Yakah, Gushegu Municipal Coordinating Director, said the project would achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on reducing poverty and hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture in the beneficiary municipalities.
Mr Yakah said the project would further serve as a growth pole for the development of the area and assured the stakeholders of the continued commitment of the Assembly to support the project to ensure its successful implementation.
Madam Abibata Baba, a livestock farmer from Kpatinga in the Gushegu Municipality, said livestock farmers in the area found it difficult to access water and forage for their animals during the dry season, a situation, which affected their incomes.
Madam Baba, therefore, expressed joy that the project had come to teach the livestock farmers how to produce quality forage to ensure feed for their animals.