After months of postponing the training workshop which was schedule to take place initially in 2015, executives and workshop committee members finally had to put their acts together to ensure it was not postponed again.
My greatest thanks goes to all our sponsors, Seladels Food, Tilly Farms, Olumo Farms, Happy Fm and all those who collaborated to make this workshop a success. Even though time was not on our side, we were able to achieve a lot. Our gratitude to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Dr. Hannah Bissiw) for gracing the program, it made all the difference.
Below is the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Speech at the Program
Mr Chairman, our dear pig farmers, the media, ladies and gentlemen, I am very grateful that you have given me the opportunity to be part of this training workshop on the theme ” Transforming Pig Farming into income Generating and Professional Business in Ghana” Your theme for this training is in line with the Food and Agriculture Sector Policy Development Policy (FASDEP II) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture which state that, and I quote ” The goals of the Livestock policy are increasing the supply of meat, animal and dairy products from domestic production at the current aggregate level of 30% to 80% by the year 2015; and contributing to reduction of the incidence of poverty among farmers ( who are livestock keepers) from 59% to 30% by the year 2015″
Mr Chairman, as your theme as component of income generation, it is my hope that with good modern farm management practices, income levels will increase from pig production in order to reduce incidence of poverty to 30%, among your pig farmers throughout the country.
Mr Chairman, the opportunities in the livestock sector, including pig production are huge and increasing annually. This is because, Ghana is now a middle income country and the urban population is growing and this population has high demand for meat products, such as pork and its processed products. There are many foreigners in the country that pork is the best choice of meat for them. Our official local slaughter figures for pigs in 2013 and 2014 are 24, 062 and 21, 735 respectively. The total figures will be higher than this, since these slaughter figures only reflect what the veterinary services Directorate records at the approved abattoirs in the country.
Mr Chairman, the biggest opportunity for you is the decreased importation of pork into the country. For instance, the country imported 2, 064, 639kg of pork in 2013 and 904, 996kg of pork in 2014, which indicated a drastic decrease and this deficit will have to be met by your local production of pork.
Mr. Chairman, however, I must admit that there are challenges in the pig industry;
● Places of slaughter of pigs, since some slaughter houses do not accept pigs for slaughter
● Well equipped processing plant and storage for pork products
● A market for live pigs, where farmers can easily sell their pigs
● High cost of pig feeds and lack of commercial feed mills that formulate pig feed
● There are no standardization in selling by weight for most farmers
● Inadequate pig breeding stock, for farmers to have easy access.
Mr Chairman, one of the challenges in the pig industry is technical know-how, which you are addressing today, by organizing this workshop. I highly recommend you for this initiative and hope that you will have regular training on all aspects of pig production.
Mr Chairman, another challenge in pig production is the outbreaks of African Swine Fever. This disease is fatal, with high mortality. This disease hit us hard in the Western region in 2014. However, this disease can be prevented through strict bio-security measures on your respective pig farms.
Mr Chairman, I wish you a successful training and I hope that the knowledge gained in this training workshop will help you to improve your health and husbandry management practices on your farm.