The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) has expressed worry over the neglect of the livestock sub-sector of agriculture, warning that the area which employs a lot of Ghanaians may collapse, resulting in a massive unemployment.
According to GAWU, the livestock sub-sector has not received much attention due to the perception that animals could be raised on a free-range basis even when they are intended for commercial purposes.
Latest figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicated that the livestock sub-sector recorded 1.5 percent growth in the first quarter of 2016, compared to a 1.7 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.
By this, the sub-sector saw a percentage decrease of 0.2 percent within three months.
Speaking to Citi Business News in an interview, the General Secretary of GAWU Mr. Edward Kareweh maintained that the livestock sub-sector holds the potential to create jobs for the youth if government will pursue a new policy to invest in it.
He stated that with the needed capital injection, the sub-sector could create job opportunities for the youth who wish to make a living from agriculture.
“I think that generally speaking we don’t pay serious attention to the growth of livestock. What have we done in terms of policy frame work to improve livestock in our country?. We always raise most of our livestock on free-range system,” he said.
Pointing out the confusion between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in some parts of the country as an example, Mr. Kareweh stated that a national policy framework on livestock could address the confusion to make Ghana a hub for cattle production.
“If you look at the southern part of the country and the misunderstanding between cattle owners and farmers, an agriculture policy that looks specifically at the livestock sub-sector would prevent the confusion,” he said.
He stated that an immediate policy to readdress free range in the country will increase the level of production of livestock in the country.
Mr. Kareweh was however of the opinion that Ghana has done well in the area of poultry even though there is more room for improvement.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana