Mr Kwesi Ahwoi

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi

An agricultural programme that will increase livestock production and help address protein deficiency in the country has kicked off.

Known as the Pig Breed Improvement Programme, it was initialed between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and four research institutions on Thursday in Accra.

The project is also billed to enhance research work on pigs.

Kwesi Ahwoi, outgoing Minister, said the MoU obligated the partner institutions to respect the formulae for distributing and rotating the parent breeds expected to reach farmers across Ghana.

With the configuration of the programme, greater emphasis would be placed on crops and livestock.
According to Mr. Ahwoi, his outfit?s cooperation with the institutions, which have expert knowledge in piggery, would help coordinate activities to increase production to meet national demand.

The institutions include Animal Research Institute of CSIR, Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Ghana, Animal Science Department of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Animal Science Department of University of Cape Coast.

It is expected that a total of at least 613 parent pigs would be available for distribution to 120 participating breeders of the open nucleus breeding scheme in all the 10 regions of the country.

Asare Mensah, Director, Animal Production, in a remark, urged the participating institutions to observe all obligations under the MoU to guarantee a common recording system to facilitate exchange of records for effective monitoring.

In August 2012, MoFA imported grand parent pigs from France in support of its Pig Breed Improvement Programme for the benefit of the pig industry in Ghana.
Past efforts aimed at genetically improving pig breeds in the country could not be successfully sustained.

The ministry has invited a breeding consortium, ABC Consortium, to design a breeding scheme for implementing the current programme.

It is to ensure that the initiative result in tangible products for sustainability this time round, among others.

By Samuel Boadi

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