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Business News of Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Rearing for Food and Jobs campaign to begin in 2019 – Agric Minister

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture play videoDr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto says government will commence a campaign to promote livestock production amongst the youth in 2019.

The project dubbed ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’ follows government’s intervention programme, Planting for Food and Jobs which is geared towards increasing food production and ensure food security for the country as well as reduce food import bills to the barest minimum.

Taking his turn at the Meet the Press series organised by the Ministry of Information, Dr. Afriyie Akoto said this policy will not only create jobs but also boost livestock production which is a major aspect of agriculture.

According to him, government’s major focus will be on cattle and poultry because they have the biggest job creation capacity amongst all activities in the agriculture sector and also, the importation of poultry will reduce drastically.

In his explanation, the Agric Minister said the annual demand for poultry is estimated at 232,000 metric tonnes of which half is imported so commencing the campaign will help reduce the rate at which birds are imported into the country.

Dr. Afriyie Akoto said ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’ will work hand-in-hand with ‘Planting for Foods and Jobs’ because crops like maize and soya will be needed as feed for the livestock.

According to him, the focus of Planting for Food and Jobs includes the intensification of maize and soya production which are the main ingredients of poultry feed.

“When we talk about maize and soya, we are not talking about these for human consumption. As I said they are self-sufficient, but we are talking about that as a source of getting poultry feed to revive the poultry industry,” he said.

“The poultry industry is down because cost of production is so high. They have to import poultry feed and how can you be competitive if the basic ingredients that you use for your trade, you have to rely on imports. It won’t work. So we have to be able to produce the surpluses here for the feed to be made because feed is about 80 percent of the cost of production of poultry in this country. So if we are able to create the surpluses, produce another 1 million metric tonnes and soya another half a million or so, then we know we are in the business of reviving the poultry industry which has one of the biggest job creation capacity amongst all the activities in the Agric sector and that plus the cattle and others we are calling them Rearing for Food and Jobs. So we are rearing our livestock for food and also the creation of jobs”, he added.