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Big boost for livestock farming
Posted on: 06-Jul-2013         Source: Graphic
Ghana and 46 other African countries will benefit from a 31.2 million euro contributions made by the European Union and African Union Commission (AUC) to establish livestock hubs to promote livestock farming in Africa.

Dr Anthony Nsoh Akunzule of the National Livestock Policy Focal Point announced this at a three-day national consultative multidisciplinary stakeholders’ workshop in Accra.

It was organised by the African Union – Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), ECOWAS and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to reinforce veterinary governance (Vet-Gov) in Africa.

Dr Akunzule said more than 20 per cent of livestock produced in Africa was lost to animal diseases.

The problem, he said, had a ripple effect on production levels and added that the absence of a meat inspection law in the country had resulted in the inability of the country to export livestock to generate revenue.

He called on the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standard Authority and other regulatory bodies to facilitate the enactment of a meat inspection law.

Dr Akunzule said agriculture in Africa focused more on crops and stressed the need to promote livestock farming to support the revenue earned from the agricultural sector, especially when crop prices fell due to bumper harvests.

This, he said, could be done by undertaking evidence-based advocacies for support to strengthen disease prevention and control mechanisms.

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Clement Kofi Humado, attributed the increasing annual outbreak of animal diseases such as anthrax and other viral diseases to the abolishing of the free mass vaccination programme for livestock in the country.

He said since the mass vaccination programme was halted, poor farmers had not been able to pay for such exercises, hence the outbreak of those diseases which killed a lot of animals.

The Regional Co-ordinator for AU-IBAR, Dr Henri Kabore, highlighted the implementation of strategies to promote livestock farming both at the regional and national levels as the focus of the workshop.