Business News of Friday, 16 March 2012
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture MOFA) on Thursday received pigs from some small-scale livestock farmers and transferred them to another set of farmers at a ceremony at the Nungua Livestock Breeding Station.
The scheme known as the Credit-in-Kind and launched by the Ministry last year, provided 45,000 small ruminants, sheep and goats as well as 1,000 genetically improved breeds of pigs to the farmers.
Its main objective is to increase the number of livestock reared in the country and in this way increase incomes of small-scale livestock farmers, processors and traders in the project districts as well as increase animal protein consumption and to minimize the importation of livestock and livestock products.
The gilts were distributed to some farmers in the Greater-Accra, Western, Central and Volta Regions, with each beneficiary receiving four pigs to be re-paid within a period not exceeding two years.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremonyy Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, said it was gratifying to note that only one year after the implementation of the scheme, a good number of the beneficiaries were ready to pass on the offsprings of the animals to other farmers for rearing.
Dr Tia said as the nation pushed to expand production of grains, cereals and soya beans, the cost of poultry feed would be reduced and the bi-products from rice-mills and soya oil extraction plants would provide some support for commercial poultry and livestock production.
The Deputy Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Nalerigu/Gambaga, expressed the hope that the new beneficiary farmers would equally take good care of the pigs and eventually transfer some of their off springs to other farmers.
Dr Baffour Asare Mensah, Director of Animal Production at MOFA, said the Pig Industry has a great potential to provide employment and to improve the livelihood of farmers through income-generation.**