The Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale, Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, has advised dealers in the local meat industry to follow best practices to enable the country to attain self-sufficiency in meat production.
According to him, the country had the capacity to produce its meat requirement and the potential to create a viable meat production industry independent of foreign imports.
Prof. Teye, who is also a renowned meat technology scientist, gave the advice at this year’s inaugural lecture of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra on the theme: “The meat industry and national development”.
Prof. Teye said the vibrancy of the global meat industry which was worth $838 billion in 2020 should inspire stakeholders to establish appropriate structures to grow the local sector.
“Ghana has the potential to produce all classes of animals for the meat industry to feed the increasing urbanised population, satisfy expatriates and reduce the current excessive importation to save our scarce foreign exchange,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor added that the development of the sector would also help create jobs and wealth, including the production of highly demanded grass-fed beef otherwise known as organic meat.
The industry, he said, was an essential component of the livestock and food value chain which must not only be developed and owned by the state, but also individuals, corporate organisations and farmers’ associations.
Touching on the health benefits of meat, Prof. Teye explained that meat was a source of high-quality protein for growth and development with high biological value of more than 75 per cent.
“Amino acid profile of animal protein matches those of humans, making it a better source of human protein needs. It also contains top source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron and selenium,” he added.
To ensure a thriving meat industry in the country, Prof. Teye further said rules governing its production and processing must consistently be enforced by appropriate agencies.
Aside from that, he said there was also the need to engage skilled, knowledgeable and conscientious labour, including wooing graduates from higher institutions to venture into the industry to improve standards.
Prof. Teye added that players in the industry must adopt and comply with standards and the code of practice guiding operations in the sector to gain global recognition.
“Some consumers insist on certificated conditions before buying the products, which must be provided on labels. We must invest in and improve local animal production,” the Vice-Chancellor stressed.