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Business News of Thursday, 19 November 2020

Source: GNA

More districts benefit under government's Rearing for Food and Jobs initiative

Five districts have benefitted from a total of 2,000 broilers, 500 goats and 1000 sheep under the government’s flagship Programme; Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJs) in the Upper East region.

Two hundred farmers from Garu, Tempani, Pusiga, Bolgatanga East and Bulsa North districts have received broilers, while 150 more farmers in the area received their share of sheep.

Ms Esther Gumah, Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MoFA) in charge of Livestock, in an interview told the GNA that the Builsa North District, which is an additional district totalling six districts were identified to benefit 6,000 guinea fowls and cages to confine them and would be distributed to commercial Farmers for production for breed improvement.

According to her, four more districts were identified to benefit from the Savannah Investment Project (SIP) which was launched in February 2020 to run along the government flagship programme as compliment this year.

The SIP which is an African Development Fund loan facility at the cost $20 million is a five-year project to distribute 11,000 broilers, 12,500 guinea fowls, 24,000 and 2,500 sheep to farmers in Bawku West, Builsa South districts, Bolgatanga Municipality and the Kassena Municipality.

The Livestock officer said the 24,000 layers coming with cages would entirely be distributed to women aimed to promote the consumption of local poultry and egg consumption and improve household nutrition and particularly maternal and child nutrition.

She noted that commercial poultry farmers, both men and women in the Builsa South will enjoy a 50 per cent subsidized rates for any animal received under the SIP.

Meanwhile in 2019, a total of 525 farmers received 2,000 sheep, 2,500 broilers from five districts and the areas included; the Bongo district, Bawku West district, Nabdam district, Kassena West district and Kassena East Municipal.

Ms Esther Agumah in response to performance of the intervention since inception last year said disbursement had been smooth and on the performance, she said the 2019 disbursement recorded 686 lambings and 178 mortality constituting 26 per cent and a parent stock mortality of 553 representing 26 per cent.

She also noted that with the emergence and its challenges of Covid 19, some 178 offsprings of last disbursement were expected to be passed on to other beneficiaries.

Madam Ruth Adam, a beneficiary from Zuanyanga, in Bawku West District who benefited from the disbursement expressed gratitude to the government for the support and reiterated the benefits the project provided her.

She, however, said the mortality rate was a challenge despite the full complement of veterinary services and added that out of 10 sheep received, four died with four of the lambing leaving six sheep and three offspring.

Mis Ayamga advised beneficiaries to take good care of their livestock for others who were yet to receive to have equal opportunity.