Animal Production Directorate is one of the implementing agencies of WAAPP 2A. The Directorate aims at promoting the development of livestock in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner to increase productivity and income for both men and women farmers.
Under WAAPP 2A the Directorate in collaboration with Animal Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is charged with the implementation of the Livestock component which entails Guinea fowl production in the 3 Northern regions and Small ruminant production in Central, Western and Eastern regions of Ghana.
Poultry meat and eggs have been a conventional protein source in Ghana for many years. Studies have revealed that there are over 20 million indigenous fowls in Ghana. Most of these are found in the rural and peri-urban areas. It is estimated that 80% of households have on the average, 10-15 birds and these are kept for eggs, meat, and cash.
Local birds comprise of the domestic chicken, guinea fowls, ducks and turkeys. In Ghana, more attention has traditionally been paid to the domestic fowl than the guinea fowl (Numida meleagris).
Guinea fowls are most suited to harsh environmental conditions and have the following characteristics:
- They are hardy birds, which thrive, in less than optimal conditions.
- They resist to a higher degree, tropical diseases
- They require little investment cost since they live mostly on green vegetation, and insects around dwelling places, with very low supplementation in most cases.
- They are generally dual purpose i.e. for both egg and meat production.
In spite of the advantages above it is saddled with some constraints such as: Poor hatchability, Lack of prophylactic treatment (eg. vaccination and deworming), Predator attacks (Snakes preying on fertile eggs and keets). Thus guinea fowl production has not received enough attention and the needed support for increased productivity and production.
Sheep and goat production is suited for all the ecological zones of the country. However, the growth of the industry has been impeded by several constraints such as lack of improved breeding stock, poor nutrition, high disease incidence, lack of capital, and high interest rate. Notwithstanding this, recent developments in the industry indicate that the country has potential to increase off-take and produce good quality meat to satisfy a greater part of the nation’s animal protein requirements.
Small ruminants (sheep and goats) production is an economic way of providing animal protein in view of their short generation interval, higher prolificacy and lower production cost in comparison to bigger ruminants (cattle). They also have advantage over monogastrics (pigs and poultry), since they do not compete with humans for grains. As ruminants, sheep and goats require simple shelters and subsist satisfactorily on inexpensive feed such as roughage.
The Guinea fowl and Small ruminant project seeks to increase productivity through generation and dissemination of appropriate technologies for adoption.
- To improve on efficiency of guinea fowl production and to reduce hatchability and mortality rates, 43 Livestock officers and 80 beneficiary farmers in the 3 regions in northern Ghana were taken through training in Guinea fowl husbandry and hatchery Management.
- Monitored guinea fowl project beneficiary farmers’ operations in 16 districts (Upper East and Northern regions) to track performance of their activities.
- For accurate determination of temperature and relative humidity levels in the incubators supplied to guinea fowl farmers, 40 Hygrometers were procured and installed on the incubators.
- To encourage women and youth participation in the implementation of the guinea fowl project, 1,600 keets are to be brooded and supplied to 320 farmers in this category. So far 600 keets are under brooding at the Guinea fowl breeding and training Center; Pong Tamale Livestock breeding Station. These would be trained in modern guinea fowl husbandry to enhance their skills.
- To increase productivity of Small ruminants in Eastern, Central & Western regions, 90 farmers (50% females) were selected from 15 districts across the 3 regions to benefit from a Credit in kind scheme, which offer each farmer 5 animals (4female and 1male) of superior breed quality.
- The farmers pens were inspected for validation as part of the criteria for selection to ascertain their commitment.
- 20 Livestock Officers and 90 prospective Small ruminant beneficiaries were trained in Modern Small ruminant Husbandry, Preservation and Utilization of Agro by products/Agro Industrial by Products to enhance their skill for increased productivity.
- 550 Small ruminants (380 goats and 170 sheep) were procured and distributed to farmers (280 goats and 170 sheep) as credit in kind and Pong Tamale Livestock Breeding Station (100 goats) as back up stock for breeding/multiplication to expand the project after the expiration of WAAPP 2.
- To cater for the feed requirement of 100 backup goats for the Pong Tamale Livestock Breeding Station, a 7 hectare field has been ploughed and cultivated as follows: Cajanus cajan and Panicum maximum mix-2ha, Stylosantes hamata- 5ha. These animals are meant for future expansion of the scheme after the expiration of the WAAPP 2.
- Monitored the operations of beneficiary farmers in 15 districts to track performance.
- Ploughed 6 hectares of land at Ejura Sheep Breeding Station for cultivation of Stylosanthes hamata to produce seed for over-sowing of range lands in communities experiencing over grazing.