The Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP), an NGO based in Tamale has appealed to stakeholders in agriculture to make livestock breeding priority in agriculture to help alleviate poverty in the three Northern Regions.
Mr Alex Alabikaya, Executive Director of ACDEP made the appeal in Tamale on Monday when he addressed participants at a stakeholders' livestock development workshop, aimed at dialoguing to find ways of improving livestock breeding in the three Northern Regions.
The participants drawn from the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions, were to review the current livestock development programmes and identify sustainable approaches and strategies to improve the industry.
The two-day workshop was on the theme: “Improving livestock production in Northern Ghana for sustainable livelihood and income: prospects, constraints and way forward”, would also showcase some promising technologies based on indigenous knowledge and local innovation on livestock development.
Mr Alabikaya said the livestock sector played a key role in enhancing food security, improving incomes, poverty reduction and improving the socio-economic development of Northern Ghana and called on major players in the agriculture sector to play a meaningful role to ensure that the sector was improved.
He outlined the interventions ACDEP had put in place to help livestock farmers and indicated that ACDEP had over the years assisted farmers in rural areas of the north on good practices of livestock breeding as measures to improve the sector.
Mr Sylvester Adongo, Northern Regional Director of Food and Agriculture in a speech read on his behalf, attributed the abysmal improvement of the livestock industry to colonial era policies that neglected the local livestock because it had slow pace of growth and development.
Mr Adongo called for the adoption of policy measures that would allow free treatment and mass vaccination against contagious and infectious diseases to benefit the keepers who were the poor farmers.
He also appealed to government to provide financial credit schemes to livestock farmers and called for the need to establish a livestock development council to focus on only livestock development in the country.