Meat imports crippling local production

BY: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Meat imports crippling local production
Meat imports crippling local production

The Director of the Animal Research Institute under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-ARI), Prof. Emmanuel K. Adu, has decried the importation of meat products into Ghana arguing that the phenomenon is crippling the activities of local producers.

He said it was unfortunate that Ghana which used to depend on locally produced meat from producers such as Afariwaa Farms, Darko Farms and Akate Farms, was currently importing because all those companies had diverted into the housing sector.

“Ghana has been importing meat from other parts of the world. We are bringing meat from Argentina, Brazil and Europe. We should ask ourselves, are we going to do this forever? This is detrimental to our local production efforts,” he stated in an interview after a knowledge sharing workshop in Accra on alternative protein feed sources for sustainable intensification of livestock agriculture.

Prof. Adu indicated that the big challenge for the livestock industry in Ghana was how to produce to meet demand and become competitive.


Addressing the challenges through research

Three PhD students under the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI)-Sterling University-CSIR collaborative research project presented some of their research findings at the workshop which stimulated social learning among stakeholders.

The need to find alternative protein feed sources that are healthy on the livestock, environmentally sustainable, affordable and readily available are prominent in the findings.  

Prof. Adu said it was important for researchers to ensure that their works were not stuck on shelves but reach the end-users to help address their challenges and make it easier for adoption.

“It is high time we rose as scientists to address it or else, we become irrelevant. The Agriculture Research Institute (ARI) is making itself more relevant to you by addressing issues that confront our livestock farmers- bringing innovations, making production more efficient than we have seen,” he gave an assurance.

The workshop

It was organised by the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) Ghana National Learning Alliance (GH-NLA) to promote the use of alternative protein feed sources for sustainable intensification of livestock agriculture; influence policy or programmes on alternative protein feed sources for sustainable intensification of livestock agriculture; and encourage development partners and donors to invest in alternative protein feed sources for sustainable intensification of livestock agriculture.

The SAIRLA-GH-NLA is working together with relevant stakeholders to identify the different policies and mechanisms that could provide smallholder farmers, including women and young people, with better access to resources and information relating to Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) in crops, livestock and fisheries subsectors.

Based on the above, the SAIRLA GH-NLA has identified three key themes, including Pesticides Use, Gender and Climate Smart Agricultural Investment and Alternative protein feed sources for social learning.

The Alternative protein feed sources social learning theme promotes discussions and information sharing around the need for intensification practices that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable. — GB