THE Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is inviting private sector players to partner the government to deliver large-scale projects under the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ)?initiative.
“I am inviting private partners to partner government in the Rearing for Food and Jobs initiative because we are looking at it to be a private sector-led programme.
“So, all private sector actors are invited to join in the implementation of the RFJ,” the Director of the Animal Production Directorate of the Ministry, Mr Edwin Bekoe, told the private sector at the media launch of the 7th All African Conference on Animal Agriculture (AACAA) in Accra.
The conference, scheduled to take place at the Accra International Conference Centre from July 29 to August 2, 2019, is expected to bring together 600 local and international participants, made up of government officials, animal scientists, farmers, non-governmental organisations involved in livestock, international organisations and financial institutions, among others.
The ACAA is the single largest event that brings all the stakeholders in the animal agriculture industry under one roof.
With the focus on animal agriculture, the conference will provide opportunity for research and development stakeholders of animal agriculture in Africa and beyond to discuss the current as well as emerging opportunities and challenges in the animal industry.The conference, on the theme: “Innovations to secure the future of animal agriculture in Africa in a globalising world,” comes every four years and the last time it was hosted was in 2014 in Kenya.
The LiPF tradeshow
The conference is expected to coincide with the 2019 edition of the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries (LiPF) tradeshow, an initiative of the MoFA and Agrihouse Foundation.
Mr Bekoe explained that the LiPF tradeshow and AACAA animal conference would provide a platform where issues concerning livestock, poultry and fisheries would be brought to the fore, discussed and better managed.
He said it would provide the opportunity to shed more light on strategies towards the modernisation of the sector to improve productivity and achieve food security and profitability.
“This is in line with government’s effort to support and examine how the country’s animal agriculture can increase its private sector engagement through public and private partnership,” Mr Bekoe explained.
The Secretary of the Ghana Society of Animal Production, Dr Julius Hagan, who outlined the purpose of the conference, said it would also examine how the continent’s animal agriculture could increase its private sector engagement.
He said the conference would showcase the opportunities in the animal industry and provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss innovative ways for improvement.
Consumption of eggs
The Chief of Party of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Amplifies Project, the headline sponsors of the conference, Mrs Ligaya Diaz, said the organisation sought to improve efficiency in the agricultural value chain.
She said as part of the project, “we are heavily promoting the consumption of eggs in Ghana”, explaining that before the introduction of the project in the country, the consumption of egg was low.
Contribution of livestock
The Administrator of the AACAA, Rev. Dr Richard Amponsah, who chaired the function, underscored the importance of livestocks not only due to their contribution to food security but also for socio-economic development and livelihood.
“Unfortunately, Africa is at a point where there are many challenges bedeviling this industry. Not only are we having issues with input supply, there is the issue of high population growth forcing us to improve animal production,” he lamented.