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Rearing for Food and Jobs has failed to meet objectives – Agric Policy Consultant

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As the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) programme ends this year, Agriculture Policy Consultant Emmanuel Wullingdool has opined that the programme has largely failed to live up to its objectives. 

Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show with Mark Smith today, Mr. Wullingdool explained that the programme may have underwhelmed because of the government’s decision to spread the resources thin on the five different protein sources. 

“Though the government has come out with a policy to increase production under the Rearing for Food and Jobs programme in these selected value chains, it has not translated into what I can say, which would be to replace imports. For me, that is the low side of the policy. It is now that recently, in the President’s SONA, he talked about some of the measures being put in place to ramp up domestic production of some of these things. When a policy has been in place for five years and five years down the line, we are talking about introducing new measures, then it means we have not lived up to expectation,”

“Let’s even talk about the poultry value chain alone. Recently, the Greater Accra poultry farmers were saying they were virtually going out of business,” he said.

The government’s overly ambitious thoughts may have cost the programme its success. 

“Sometimes, we are too ambitious. We ended up spreading ourselves thinly, if one should say so. We end up spending the little we have on large areas. Therefore at the end of the day, we are not able to get the best out of it,” he said.

The cost of inputs for the poultry value chain has increased, according to Mr. Wullingdool, thus affecting the production capacity of farmers. 

Additionally, Mr. Wullingdool explained that the value chains expected to be addressed by the RFJ are still contributing to the rise in food inflation. The reverse should have been true if the policy had been successful, according to Mr. Wullingdool.

“These value chains should have been the ones with the lowest inflation rates. If the programme was successful, those should have had the lowest contributions to inflation.”

Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) is one of the modules of the government’s flagship agricultural programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ). The RFJ was a five-year programme that was to run from 2019 to 2023.

The objective of the RFJ was to develop a competitive and more efficient livestock industry that increases domestic production, reduces importation of livestock products, and contributes to employment generation, the improvement of the livelihoods of livestock value chain actors, and the national economy.

This module was officially launched by H. E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo at Wa in the Upper West Region on June 25th, 2019. It is also aimed at addressing issues associated with livestock development in the country including, but not limited to; poor genetic quality of breeds used by farmers; poor nutrition and inadequate water resources for livestock; animal health; poor and inadequate livestock housing structures/equipment; inadequate agricultural extension service and developing and promoting the livestock value chain.

This campaign was designed to address the identified bottle-necks along five (5) key value chains which are: sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and dairy cattle.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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