Cattle farmers appeal to government to develop industry

Sogakofe- The Volta Regional Cattle Farmers Union has appealed to government to help address challenges facing cattle farming in the country, and help develop it into an industry. Mr Raphael Nutoegba, Chairman of the Union said cattle products were of high economic value, yet the industry in Ghana suffered for lack of dedicated programmes and policies, including a beef industry.

He said this after he was sworn in together with seven others as executives of the Union in Sogakofe in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.

Mr Nutoegba said low prices of cattle as against the high cost of inputs coupled with issues pertaining to grazing, diseases, and rustling continued to drive the industry downward.

He noted that this had necessitated the importation of cattle and beef products from other countries to meet local demand, and said stakeholders must help to increase the capacity of local farmers to grow the market.

Mr Nutoegba said production methods must advance, and called on government to support the industry with drugs, improved livestock breeds, and soft loans.

He promised to ensure that the Union guaranteed sustainable income for members, secured reliable processing partners and make cattle farming attractive to the youth.

Dr William Tasiame, a Veterinary Doctor said unions must lobby government to help control tsetsefly, and also establish cattle ranches across the country.

He lamented that there was currently less than five veterinary officers in the Volta Region, reflecting a nationwide shortage affecting animal farming.

Mr George Adiasani, South Tongu District Veterinary Officer said most diseases had developed resistance to commonly used drugs, and continued to keep cattle populations low.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture said that the Ghana Cattle Ranching Committee had been tasked to help address the challenges, with a “Rearing for Food and Jobs” programme soon to be launched to develop livestock farming.

He called for close collaboration between cattle farming associations and his Ministry to adopt improved facilities in housing, feeding and other husbandry practices.

Mr Maxwell Blagodzi, Deputy Volta Regional Minister who inaugurated the Executives encouraged them to help avert clashes with crop farmers and ensure harmonious coexistence.

The Union of over 3000, is made up of nine societies scattered across southern Volta, and owns more than half the estimated 10 million cattle in the region.

Source: Ghana News Agency