The Upper East Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, Mr Francis Ennor, has indicated that government’s Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJs) programme, has the potential of revamping the defunct Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District.
The regional director, who made the observation in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on Wednesday, indicated that under the RFJs, smallholder farmers would be supported with livestock and birds feeds to rear their products for a period of four years.
He explained that the rationale behind the idea was to help make the region the hub of livestock and birds production.
It would further reduce the high importation of livestock and birds products into the country at higher cost.
The regional director stated that the programme also has the potential of generating employment for the youth and reduce poverty in five regions of the north.
He mentioned that the government and African Development Bank would support the programme which would empower many people to go into farming of maize and soya beans, processing, marketing and transportation among others.
He said about 6,000 tons of maize would be needed annually to feed the citizenry and poultry industry but currently the country produces 4,000 tons of maize annually, a shortfall of 2,000 tons.
“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 at higher cost,” he stressed.
The regional director urged people in the five regions, particularity the youth, to take advantage of the programme to help improve their livelihoods.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA