The Department of Agriculture in the Bolgatanga East District of the Upper East Region received the first supply of 400 cockerels under the government’s Rearing for Food and Jobs program in 2019. The birds were distributed to 40 local farmers.
No additional birds have been distributed to the Bolgatanga East District as part of the initiative, which expires in 2023. It also hasn’t received any of the livestock stated under the scheme either.
The programme’s future is also unknown.
This came to light when the District Director of Agriculture in the Bolga East District, Diana Akumanue, spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.
“The RFJ is in two parts. The small ruminant part and the poultry. Bolga East District benefited from the poultry. We received 400 cockerels for distribution to farmers. The main objective of the distribution of the cockerels was to improve the local breeds for household nutrition. This was not really that was for commercial purposes. [After] the first time we received the 400 cockerels, we haven’t received any more as of now. Let me also say that this was on a pilot basis, so only a few districts were selected to be beneficiaries. After the pilot, we were expecting a scale-up, but nothing has happened.”
When asked about how long the pilot phase was expected to last, Madam Akunamue said, “I don’t have information about how long it is going to last. We were thinking that after we received the first batch, we would scale up to reach other farmers. We received only 400, and each farmer was to benefit from 25.”
The Bolga East District Director of Agriculture continued to say that the programme was also expected to help improve the nutritional status of the farmers and their families.
Madam Akunamue also explained that some of the birds died as a result of avian influenza that happened at the time.
Meanwhile, poultry farmers in the Northern Region have commended the government for the implementation of the Savannah Investment Programme.
The Savannah Investment Programme (SIP) aims to reduce the importation of animal protein, enhance the competitiveness of the poultry industry, improve small ruminant breeds, and contribute to improved food and nutrition security in Ghana. The programme seeks to increase farmers’ food and nutrition security and incomes through increased agricultural productivity and diversification and enhance the creation and strengthening of agribusinesses to increase the incomes of actors along the selected value chains on a sustainable basis. The project has four components: (i) access to agriculture finance; (ii) production development; (iii) agribusiness and value chain development; and (iv) project management and institutional support. The programme will be implemented over a five-year period (2019–2024).
While the overall objectives of the programme may not have been met for poultry farmers, some gains are being made. George Dassah, the Northern Regional Chairman of Poultry Farmers, shared this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana