Facilities deteriorateing at Pong-Tamale livestock station
2009-11-17 21:38:39This article has been read 818 times.Facilities at the Pong-Tamale Livestock Breeding station in the Savelugu-Nanton District in the Northern Region are said to be detoriorating.
Established nearly eight decades ago by the British, the station can be described gold mine that is capable of producing improved breeds of livestockin commercial quantities for export to the West African sub region to help alleviate poverty in the northern Ghana.
It is also envisaged that the station if properly managed, can help address the problem of food security in the country, particularly the north. However, there are indications that the station lacks adequate funds to make that vision a reality.
The station covers an area of 62 square kilometres, approximately 6,000 hectares.
Currently, 5000 out of the 6000hectares used to grow pastre to feed animals are lying idle.
The stationis one of the six nucleus breeding facilities in Ghana with the mandate to breed and supply generically improve animals to livestock farmers.
It is a nucleus centre for the West African Shorthorn breed of cattle and also keeps Sahelian and Djallonke sheep, Sahelian goats and large white pigs. Currently, it has a total of 1,424 animals made up of goats, sheep, cattle and pigs.
The station has been able to sell 1,083 animals at a total cost of Gh¢39,279.
Regrettably,the only tracror at the station which is 38 years old has broken down, making it difficult to feed the various species of animals.
Figures at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture show that the countn’ produces only about 30 per cent of its meat requirement, necessitating the importation of live animals and frozen meat while on a daily basis, live animals are brought into Ghana from her neighbouring countries.
If this tiend has to change, then it is imperative for stakeholders to inject more capital to make the station viable.
According to the Farm Manager,, Mr Ibrahim Shahadu,. there is the need to assist the station to get the necessary resources to boost livestock production in northern Ghana.
He described the station as a gold mine that was capable of producing improved breeds of animals in large quantities to help alleviate poverty and create wealth for people in many parts of West Africa.
The manager said there was high demand for the improved breeds
of animals which included sheep, goats, cattle and pigs.
Mr Shahadu said because the station lacked the requisite facilities, it was difficult to feed the animals since the different species of animals required different feeds which must always be supplied regularly and at specific intervals.
"The station has recently been restored with improve breeds of animals and what is now needed is the requisite resources to produce enough to meet the demand," he stressed.
During a recent familiarisation tourof facilities at the station by members of sj the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, its ’ chairman and leader of the delegation, Dr Alhassan Yakubu Ahmed praised the people of Pong-Tamale for not encroaching on the station’s land.
He said most of the problems the manager lamented over were not new to them and recalled that the Member of Parliament for Savelugu, Madam Mary Boforo had on countless OCCASIONS mentioned the deplorable situation at the station on the floor of the house.
The committee chaireman and his colleagues, however, refused to make definite promises about any help they could offer the station, saying they would convey the message of the manager to the appropriate quarters.
The Pong-Tamale Veterinary College which is adjacent to the breeding station needs urgent attention from government.
According to the Principal, Dr.Eric Obeng Bempong, the college was the only one of its kind in West Africa and therefore needed to be supported to admit students from neighbouring countries to generate foreign exchange for the nation.
Dr.Bempong mentioned lack of a lecture hall, dormitory facilities as well as a demonstrating clinic as some of the problems hampering the effective running of the college.
According to him, the college trained middle level veterinary officers to manage animal diseases and increase their productivity.