Since the introduction of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative by government, there has been extensive talk about the transformative impact of the programme. Despite widespread cynicism from several quarters the policy has undoubtedly yielded fruits worthy of the effort.

Having achieved the immediate target of reducing food import, the huge import cost for meat products continues to billow on the already wobbly local economy.
Only a few months ago, the government made the most significant step to address the colossal meat import bill, which clearly impacts the local economy negatively.

 The Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, assured that government will from this year; roll out the ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’ (RFJ) programme, to facilitate growth in the livestock industry.
He said the programme was geared at increasing livestock production to meet the high demand for meat and reduce importation in the industry.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto made this known at a stakeholder review meeting by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
He said the rearing for food and jobs programme will complement the planting for food and jobs to increase food production and address the issue of food insecurity.

“Rearing for food and Jobs is coming on next year (2019) exclusively for the livestock including cattle and other ruminants with the Fulani issue that we are dealing with effectively. We are currently rehabilitating Wawase at the Afram Plains, and we are resuscitating the idea about permanent buildings with veterinary doctors and all other experts with about 250 hectares ranch to look at the animals that will give us more meat and milk.

This bold move by government is a step in the right direction. To succeed however, all hands must be on deck. Stakeholders, within and without the agric industry must actively support the government to ensure that the initiative succeeds.

 Agrihouse Foundation, All African Society of Animal Production, USDA Ghana Poultry Project, FARA, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture,   have identified the need to redirect attention to animal production by rolling out and hosting for the 7th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture in Ghana, whiles alongside, introducing the maiden Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Trade Show (LIPF), to be held annually in Ghana, going forward.

 

With a focus on the animal agriculture (including aquaculture), the 7th AACAA will provide opportunity for research and development stakeholders of animal agriculture in Africa to discuss the current as well as emerging opportunities and challenges arising from these major trends and suggest potential actions to harness the opportunities and to address them.  The conference will also examine how the continent’s animal agriculture can increase its private sector engagement – through public-private sector partnerships. In this context the conference will examine ways to leverage private sector investments through strategic national, bilateral and multilateral financing of livestock and fisheries/aquaculture research and development that also target youth and women – whose engagement represents one of the major unexploited opportunities for the continent.

 

THE CONFERENCE

The All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture (AACAA) is the main mechanism through which the AASAP objective is met – i.e. providing a forum for stakeholders – professionals and other practitioners – to get together and share views on issues germane to animal agriculture. The AACAA is held every four years. The theme of each conference is chosen based on felt needs at the time. The theme of the 7th edition to be held in Ghana, Tuesday July 30 – August 3, 2019 – is: Innovations to Harness the Potential of African Animal Agriculture in a Globalizing World.

 The key words in this theme are secure future, innovations and globalizing world.

The Conference is the single largest event that brings together all the stakeholders in the animal agriculture industry under one roof.  The 7th AACAA builds from previous successful conferences held in Nairobi (1992), Pretoria (South Africa, 1996), Alexandria (Egypt, 2000), Arusha (Tanzania, 2005), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia, 2010) and Nairobi (Kenya, 2014).

 

THE LIVESTOCK, POULTRY AND TRADE SHOW (LIPF 2019)

Livestock and Fisheries production forms a major component of Ghana’s agricultural economy and plays a critical role in the agricultural intensification process. As such, there is a need to shed lighter and modernize the sector to improve productivity and achieve food security and profitability.

To achieve this, there is a fervent need to address policies on livestock and fisheries such as input supply, investment and financing of the sector, capacity building, marketing, demand and value addition. One of such ways is to make the sector ‘visible’.

Unfortunately, there is no platform in Ghana presently that brings issues of the livestock and fisheries industry to the fore. This gap is what LIPF 2019 seeks to bridge by bringing major industry players together to showcase the opportunities, advancement, products and services in animal agriculture. The AACAA7 to be held in Ghana presents the perfect opportunity to hold the trade show.

 

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

  • The overall objective of the conference is to provide an opportunity for scientists and the broader stakeholders in the animal agriculture sector to discuss the potential role of innovation in animal agriculture to improve the livelihoods of Africans. 
  • It will examine how the continent’s animal agriculture can increase its private sector engagement (through public-private sector partnerships). The conference expects about 500 participants from around the globe.

 

DETAILS / ACTIVITIES FOR 7th AACAA IN GHANA

 

Date:  Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 – Saturday, 3rd August, 2019.

Venue: Accra International Conference Centre

 

The main activities for the 7th AACAA is categorized into two.

  1. Animal science conference
  • Paper Presentations
  • Conference
  • Interactive panel discussions
  • Workshops
  • Poster session
  • Technical tours
  • Debates
  • Hard talks on hot topics and emerging new patterns in African animal agriculture
  • Social events.

 

  1. The Livestock Poultry and Trade Show (LIPF)
  • Live Demonstrations
  • Product and Service launches
  • Cooking Competitions

 

STRUCTURE OF EVENT 

The broad objective of the conference will be met through discussions of a series of papers, organized under sub-themes, to answer the broader question:   

  • How can Africa organize herself to address challenges and, at the same time, take advantage of opportunities presented by a globalizing world?
  • Opportunities and prospects for transforming ruminant livestock systems in Africa. (with a special focus on dairying and including the disciplinary areas – genetics/breeding, nutrition/feeding, animal health, and input and output markets])
  • Specifically, what are the technical and institutional innovations from the global North and South, which Africa can take advantage of, and the best mechanism through which such approach could be achieved?

 

CONFERENCE FOCUS

The Conference will focus on the following:

  1. Opportunities and prospects for transforming poultry and pig systems in Africa. (with a special focus on poultry, and including the disciplinary areas – genetics/breeding, nutrition/feeding, animal health, and input and output markets)
  2. Working animals – the animal welfare and human livelihood dimensions. (With special attention to the working donkeys and mules in Africa)
  3. Delivery of animal inputs and advisory services in Africa – the last mile challenge.   (With special focus only on last mile delivery in remote locales)
  4. Climate change and animal agriculture – adaptation and mitigation opportunities and prospects in animal agriculture (Focus on implications for different ecologies and the more vulnerable production systems in Africa)
  5. Capacity development and partnerships for innovations in animal agriculture
  6. Data platforms for decision-making in animal agriculture.

The broader objective of this meeting will be met by attempting, through discussions of a series of papers, to answer the various questions around the thematic areas.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Companies, institutions and major industry players will have the opportunity to exhibit and expand your market at this conference. The Exhibitions is expected to help players in the ‘animal industry’ to:

  1. Generate sales leads
  2. Enhance brand image and brand awareness and launch new products,
  • Network and develop new and existing business
  1. Gain better market understanding
  2. Cost-effectively promote products and services to buyers with decision-making

             and purchasing power in one place for five days.

EXPECTED RESULTS

 

The Conference is projected to help industry and non- industry players as well get an overview of various relevant developments in the area of Animal Science. It is hoped that, at the end of the conference, there will be specific recommendations for the key questions and major decisions made. The over 700 individuals made up of Scientist, Industry players, government delegation and students who will be in attendance will be better placed to effect changes that will help boost the animal agriculture sector.

Participants in the exhibition will have the opportunity to exhibit and expand their markets

Furthermore, it is expected to provide that sectorial growth facilitation that has largely been missing from governments and provide a propelling wing to the government’s rearing for food and jobs programme.

 

PARTNERS

This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the Ghana Society of Animal Production (GSAP), Ghana Animal Science Association (GASA), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana, Ghana Poultry Project (GPP), Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Agrihouse Foundation.

 

CONCLUSION

The need to place emphasis on animal production cannot be disputed. Indeed, the impressive gains made through the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative is a testament that we can do great things with our agriculture.

The onus therefore lies on all stakeholders to strive to ensure that Ghana’s huge potential in animal production is harnessed to bring about a surge in food and jobs.