Mr Cletus Aanye, a Veterinary Officer in Sissala West District, has appealed to government to establish livestock corridors countrywide to check the unregulated influx of foreign animals as they could spread cross border diseases.
He said veterinary officials have no control over movement of animals such as cattle, sheep and goats into the country due to numerous unapproved entry routes, making it extremely difficult for officers to issue movement permits.
Mr Aanye, who was speaking with the Ghana News Agency in Tumu, after a livestock training event, expressed worry that the prevailing situation could spread diseases and lead to substantial loss of revenue to the state.
He blamed the haphazard entry of animals led by nomadic herdsmen from Burkina Faso into the country on the poor border entry routes and absence of such livestock corridors.
The training was part of activities of a project to support livestock mobility for better access to resources and markets in West Africa.
It was organized by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), a local nongovernmental organization based in the Upper West Region.
Veterinary officers ought to “inspect, vaccinate and provide movement permit” for animals entering the country which could serve as source of revenue for both central and local governments, Mr Aanye said.
The Sissala West District has been noted as one of the avenues where herders can enter the Ghanaian pastures through unapproved routes and this makes it difficult to track and take stock of animals.
In a related development, Mr Eric Annuoh, Programme Officer with CIKOD, said in spite of the great potential in livestock rearing which could transform economy of farmers, a lot of people shy away from the sector partly due to the huge costs involved.
“It is advisable that if you want to be safe at rearing you will want to make it intensive and keeping intensive livestock is very expensive,” he said.
“Sometimes people have the passion to keep them but the cost involved is one thing that deters them, and like I also said if you keep them, hygiene is also another challenge and accessing veterinary services is not easy”, he said.
Both farmers and the youth in Sissala West District were encouraged to see livestock rearing as a business venture and invest in it.
Extensive sensitization campaign for livestock rearing is needed to help the people buy into the idea which is believed would contribute to making the recently launched Rearing for Food and Jobs programme a success.
Last month, President Akufo-Addo unveiled the RFJ programme which is aimed at improving livestock rearing and reducing meat import into the country.