Dr Hannah Bissiw, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture (MOFA) responsible for Livestock, says government is committed to seeing Ghana’s agriculture grow for Ghanaians to eat what is produced locally.
“Ghana has a rich livestock sector, we can boast of very good and healthy meat and government is keen on seeing that Ghana’s draft Livestock and Animal Production Bill is passed into law to help regulate and improve Ghana’s livestock sector.”
The Deputy Minister was addressing a meeting of professionals from key agricultural organisations who met to deliberate on the Ghana’s draft Livestock and Animal Production Bill.
The Bill is aimed at engineering a transformation in the industry and boost production.
The Ghana Livestock Development Network (GLIDEN) – under Africa Lead, the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) and the Veterinary and Animal Services Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture worked together to finalise the Bill that seeks to ensure improvement in the country’s livestock sector.
The Network held the first Gap Analysis workshop in the Volta Region last month to amend the current Bill which has been in existence since 1961.
Dr Bissiw expressed gratitude to the development partners, particularly USAID and Africa Lead for supporting GLIDEN and MOFA to help shape Ghana’s livestock sector.
Mrs Annie Dela Akanko, Knowledgement Management Manager of the Africa Lead project, a USAID and Feed the Future funded programme, said GLIDEN was one of the nine networks formed to bring together various organisations working in the livestock sector.
In addition, Mrs Akanko said the GNAPF was the host organisation of the GLIDEN with the goal to “develop and promote the livestock sector in Ghana.”
Dr Akunzule, the Deputy Director of Veterinary Services and National Livestock Policy Focal Point, said “what we gathered here to do is very important to us in the livestock and animal production sector.
“This is a very important assignment which will help us refine our existing laws”, he said.
Dr Akunzule said the Head of the Legal Drafting Division of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department provided a matrix to help compare existing laws and establish the gaps.
The Network is pushing government to better regulate the livestock industry in order to cut the imports and eventually raise local production and shore up farmers’ income.
The Network is also calling for a review and passage of the Veterinary and Animal Production Bill, sensitise livestock farmers concerning the adoption of and compliance to livestock legislation, promote and scale up livestock production as well as conduct a livestock census which will be used in the development of a livestock data base in the country.
The workshop also featured representatives of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Attorney General’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Statistical Service, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ghana Cooperative Butchers Association and the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers.
Africa Lead, USAID’s primary capacity building programme in Sub – Saharan Africa works to help realise the Feed the Future and the African Union’s Comprehensive Agriculture Development Programme with the goal of reducing hunger and poverty by building the capacity of champions, institutions and stakeholders to develop, lead and manage the structures needed for African-led agriculture transformation.