REGIONAL AGENCY FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
AGENCE RÉGIONALE POUR L'AGRICULTURE ET L'ALIMENTATION
AGÊNCIA REGIONAL DA AGRICULTURA E ALIMENTAÇÃO
Intensification of the Production of Quality Slaughter Animals in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana
Ghana : Bawku and Gushegu Municipalities.
In Ghana, productivity in the livestock sector is low by international standards. Despite production being widespread, output of livestock is only about 8% of agricultural GDP compared to 75% in many countries1. The meat or carcass yield of local breeds of livestock is estimated at about 20% of that of exotic breed2. It is also estimated that the average production of milk from a cow in Ghana is 4 litres a day compared to a possible 30 litres a day internationally3. Furthermore, low productivity is also shown by the low off take for small ruminants (about 30%) and for cattle (only 11%)4. The reasons for the low productivity of livestock in northern Ghana includes: (i) use of low performing breeds: for example, for cattle, the West Africa Shorthorn (WASH) accounts for about half of the population and is low performing if compared to the Zebu (which is a fast grower) and Sanga (the crossed variety). (ii) Poor feeding techniques: cattle production is based on extensive grazing with open access to crop residue grazing after harvesting while small ruminants are often left to roam. (iii) Poor health of animals given that many smallholder farmers fail to vaccinate their animals and because they consider the cost to para veterinary and veterinary services to be excessive and (iv) poor housing and husbandry management. Meanwhile, livestock production, processing and marketing in northern Ghana offers rapid growth opportunities. Yet, very few livestock farmers are commercially oriented or apply innovative production methods in their production.
The proposed intervention contributes to achieving the global objective of PRIDEC/PACBAO, which is “to develop competitive, regional and inclusive livestock and meat value chains by enhancing West African pastoral and agropastoral livestock, integrating breeders into these value chains under income-generating conditions and meeting the meat demand of households in the region”. Thus, the proposed action will create a production system that links quality animal feed production (natural pasture, crop residue, agro-byproducts) with the nutrient requirements of livestock. The action will also coordinate a sustainable livestock value chain with producers, agro-industrialists, service providers, traders and distributors of quality slaughter animals using innovative production and marketing systems in the Bawku and Gushegu municipalities in the Upper East and Northern regions respective. The action will further improve the availability and access to quality feed and improved breeds of livestock that will result in “heavy” animals with quality meat to meet the meat demand of households. In addition, the effective coordination of the livestock value chain will facilitate gainful employment for young people and women in the Bawku and Gushegu municipalities in northern Ghana. Specifically, the action aims to achieving increased availability of and access to quality animal feed at lower cost, increase the productivity and profitability of livestock farmers, increase the supply of animals with high meat production potential and develop niche markets by producing "heavy" cattle, bulls and sheep for festive occasions
- Community and district level awareness created on the improvement of quality slaughter animals ;
- The propose project will start by the project team holding engagement meetings with key stakeholders to be identified and brief them on the objectives of the proposed intervention.
- The project team will organize community sensitization through community durbars and inception workshops to introduce the proposed project to them for their support.
- The team will identify and select the project beneficiaries.
- Quality animal feed and water resources availability and accessibility by livestock farmers improved ;
- Conducting participatory training on conservation or treatment of crop residues ;
- Livestock farmer groups will be trained on how to use crop residues and convention feed ingredients to formulate diets for grower and finisher cattle, sheep and goats. Farmers in Northern Ghana do not have adequate knowledge on formulating diets to meet the requirements for growth and the requirements for finishing for slaughter ;
- Animal feed producers will be trained on how to source quality raw material to produce quality feed for livestock utilization to improve weight of animals ;
- The project will procure and distribute agro-industrial by-products to fattener groups during dry season to supplement their feeding ;
- The project team will procure and distribute feed bailing machines to farmer groups to facilitate access to crop residues and other forage for animal feeding ;
- The project team will also procure and distribute improved breeding cattle and sheep for crossing of farmers herds to bring forth heavy but quality slaughter animals.
- Breeds of livestock with high meat potential improved with improved quality slaughter animals at livestock markets ;
- Animal health improved and incident of endemic diseases reduced ;
- Livestock farmers, traders, meat processors, veterinary field staff, community animal health workers and other key stakeholders in the livestock value chain capacity built.