Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, Dr. Gyeile Nurah, has underscored the need for the local poultry and livestock farming sector to be boosted.

According to him, the move will not only create employment but lead to self sufficiency in meat production. He made the remarks in his key note address at the official launch of the ‘Poultry and Livestock Barbecue Festival’, slated for October this year.

Ghana he lamented ‘’is deficient in meeting the meat requirements. Saying, we currently consume an average of 225,000 metric tons of meat annually and interestingly, the country produces only 30 percent of the requirement.’’

The import on annual basis is about $200 million and meat intake in Ghana, is one of the lowest in the world, and Ghana’s per capital intake is from 12-14kg whiles the FAOs recommendations is 39kg.

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The demand for livestock products he noted, has been estimated to double by 2020, meaning, there is a large gap for meat products making a strong case for the livestock and poultry sectors.

He commended organizers of the event and assured them of the Ministry’s support stating that, the Ministry will encourage people to invest in the meat production industry.

He charged stakeholders to identify value added activities that will support the necessary investments in production and processing.

The establishment of meat processing plants and barbecue festivals he opined, provides opportunities for value addition.

‘’The producers of barbecues should think of themselves as members of the food chain that process and market products to consumers,’’ he said.

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“Livestock and poultry producers should also produce table ready meat instead of raw meat,” he said.

On his part, Dr. David Edjah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Polive Consultancy, organizers of the festival said, it will be an annual event that will create bigger and better market for the poultry and livestock industry.

Hr said such event will be connecting them to associations like Ghana Chefs Association and others. The festival is also intended to break the gap between research, academia and stakeholders so that research findings will be readily available.

The event will also help link poultry and livestock farmers to government’s planting for food and jobs campaign. The event is in collaboration with the Poultry Farmers Association and the National Farmers and Fishermen Association of Ghana.

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He said, “we will encourage stakeholders to support the event to make it a success. Polive Consultancy he said is a marketing, advertising and a media firm registered under the Registrar General, and is also used to launch the Women in Poultry, the Greater Accra Chapter.” He said.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh