The government has denied that it was focusing much attention on the food crops under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme to the neglect of the livestock and poultry sub-sectors.
Dr Owusu-Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture, said government was rather, using the PFJ, to address some of the fundamental challenges in the livestock and poultry sub-sectors.
He said the high cost of feed, due to the inadequate production of grains and soya—the main components, has been identified as the major constraint in the livestock and poultry sub-sector.
The government is addressing these fundamental challenges by supporting and encouraging increasing production of these commodities and others not only to help boost food production and incomes of farmers but also as a base to support the growth of the poultry and livestock sub-sectors.
Dr Akoto was interacting with some selected senior journalists in Kumasi at the weekend to brief them on PFJ, its impact, challenges as well some of the initiatives to increase food production in the country and boost the incomes of farmers.
Dr Akoto said as part of a strategy to increase soya production, the Ministry was currently registering all soya farmers in the northern region to supply them with free seeds to plant.
The government would also provide them with machines for harvesting, as well as tools to process the crop.
The Minister said the demand for maize and soya in the poultry and livestock sub-sectors far exceeded the current production levels in the country.
“Their increasing production would therefore, not only help meet the feed requirements of poultry and livestock farmers but also reduce the cost of the feed.”
Dr Akoto, said once the Ministry had been able to identify the constraints, it would work to systematically address them to boost poultry and livestock production in the country.