Bolgatanga — Government's Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJs) programme, has the greatest potential of revamping the defunct Zaurungu Meat Factory, Francis Ennor, Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture has observed.
He made the observation in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on Wednesday and indicated that under the RFJs, smallholder farmers would be supported with livestock and bird feeds to rear their animals and birds for a period of four years before being sold to producers.
According to him, the rationale was to help make the region the hub of livestock and birds production with the objective of helping to cut down the high importation of livestock and birds into the country and to also to help revamp the defunct meat factory in the region.
The Regional Director stated that the programme also has the huge potential of generating employment for the youth which would go a long way to reduce poverty in the five regions.
He said the government and African Development Bank (ADB) would support the programme to adopt value chain approach and empower many people to go into farming of maize and soya beans processing, marketing and transportation among others.
Mr Ennor said about 6,000 tons of maize would be needed annually to cater for the feeding of the nation and the poultry industry but currently produces only 4,000 tonnes of maize annually.
"The value chain approach of the programme would not only help mitigate the problem of poultry farmers when it comes to feeding but will help reduce the importation of livestock and poultry often imported by the country at high cost," he stressed.
The Regional Director called on the people in the region, particularity the youth in the five regions of the North to take advantage of the programme to help improve upon their livelihoods and to also contribute to ensure the country reduces importation of livestock and poultry.