The two-day event, which annually, brings together major players in the livestock, poultry and fisheries sector, was in partnership with the Israeli Trade and Economic Mission to Ghana and the Israeli Export Institute, on the theme, “Speed Up, Build it Now.”
Instituted three (3) years ago to propel growth and equal sharing of resources across the animal agriculture sector, the event has become an integral training, exhibitions, and knowledge sharing platform for livestock, poultry and fisheries farmers, as well as, processors and service providers, in Ghana and across the sub-region.
At the opening ceremony of this year’s event, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, noted that even though the livestock production sectors accounts for about 14% of the agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ghana, the sector receives very little attention, government and stakeholder support, compared to the crops sector.
She said, while animal agriculture is a major source of income for most farmers, the sector contributes to adequate nutrition, offers important non-pecuniary benefits such as the provision of manure, savings, insurance, farm portfolio diversification, and strong social relations. “This makes Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries production an important component of the country’s agricultural sector,” she noted.
Echoing the sentiments of stakeholders in the sector, she said many continue to lament about the little or no attention their efforts and interventions continue to receive, and consequently used the opportunity to urge government, development partners, financial institutions, among other others to support interventions like LiPF, which seeks to empower animal farmers and prospective ones.
Representing Israel’s Trade and Economic Mission to Ghana, Mr. Kirk Amoah noted that in the past year, The Trade and Economic Mission has been engaged by some Ghanaian agriculture entrepreneurs who seek to enter into cattle production either for meat or dairy production hence wanted to know what technologies Israel has to offer in that space. “These discussions have led to one Ghanaian company engaging the services of an Israeli company to conduct a feasibility study on commercial scale dairy production in Ghana,” he revealed.
He said the Missions partnership with Agrihouse Foundation and the LiPF Tradeshow was expected to provide a platform for knowledge and experience exchange on modern cattle farming, for enhanced productivity of farmers. He interactions with the cattle farmers would highlight key challenges related to cattle farming in Ghana; promote partnerships and leverage strengths among actors in the cattle farming sector and create an opportunity for companies with innovative cattle farming technologies/solutions to expand their customer base and market their products.
Representing the Fisheries Commission, Mr. Anthony Wasipe, described LIPF Tradeshow, as a laudable initiative, and therefore, in his speech, encouraged participants to recognize the visible impacts of the training sessions, and make the most of them. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we must recognize that investing in sustainable development is a collaborative effort. The investment required to meet the sustainable development goals by 2030 will not happen on its own. Government needs to join hands with investors, enterprises and other visionary institutions and individuals. Secondly, we need the will power to listen to and learn from each other. One of the innovative features of this Tradeshow is that, it will dive deep into nuts and bolts of Livestock, Poultry and Aquaculture investment.”
The Ghana Federation of Livestock Inter-Professional (GHAFLIP) acknowledged the efforts of the Agrihouse Foundation for bringing the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries (LiPF) project to fruition and organizing developmental programmes and events that are beneficial to potential and seasoned animal producers.
The partnering body pointed out that the Veterinary Service Directorate (VSD) and Animal Production Directorate (APD) must be charged to put in all punitive strategies to foster growth in general livestock production specifically the cattle rearing field, to properly manage data for productive use in Animal Production. Their remarks revealed further that about 85% of livestock production is produced and imported by neighbouring countries around the globe and not in Ghana.
In a word of caution, agro-pastoral players in the agricultural sector were beseeched to have a study and mutual understanding with aquaculture since they need each other.
The GHAFLIP mentioned that the government and other players in the agric sector are expected to play very salient roles in the initiative since ‘rearing of food and job, small ruminants alone are not enough.”