President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has unveiled another flagship programme aimed at opening new opportunities for local farmers to venture into animal rearing as a business to guarantee Ghana’s food safety and create employment avenues.
The programme under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture was launched in the Upper West Regional capital, Wa, on Monday dubbed, “Rearing for Food Jobs (RFJs)”.
This adds to several of the initiatives like planting for food and jobs (PFJs), one village one dam, one district one factory, and national entrepreneurship programme being introduced by government in an effort to industrialize wobbling Ghana’s economy since assuming power in January 2017.
The Ministry of Finance said in February last year that the government had released more than GH¢1.1 billion to support its flagship programmes as at the end of January 2018.
The latest RFJs initiative is expected to run for five years across the 16 regions of Ghana and would cover selected value chain in the livestock industry.
Addressing a large crowd at the Wa Jubilee Park during the launch, President Akufo-Addo said preparations had already been made to distribute variety of livestock nationwide and urged farmers to embrace the programme passionately.
“The RFJ programme will cover some selected value chain in the livestock industry which includes cow, sheep, goat, pig and poultry including guinea fowls, which will cover all the 16 regions of Ghana for a period of five years,” he said.
Ghana imports over $4 million of livestock products every year, which President Akufo-Addo said his government would work to reverse the trend.
The PFJs programme which was launched in 2017 has yielded the needed results which have made Ghana an exporter of maize to neighboring countries, according to the President.
He said, “Lessons learnt from the Planting for Food and Jobs programme will be used for the successful implementation of the Rearing for food and Job programme”.
The President encouraged women and young people to venture into the rearing of livestock as business since the government was going to provide special assistance to those who would undertake the programme.
“Government has also made adequate preparation to face the challenges that will confront the RFJs including diseases infections, commercialization of the products and provision of convenient places needed to rear all these livestock,” he said.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Akoto Osei, said the launch of the programme in Wa was a reflection and determination of government to transform agriculture in the country.
He said the motivation was derived from the success story of the PFJs and the Rearing for Export and Rural Development programmes launched in September 2017 and April 2019 respectively.
He applauded development partners for the assistance to the Ministry and urged them to continue making more effort to enable the government realize its dream of growing Ghana’s economy beyond aid.