The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and four research institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday aimed at supporting the Pig Breed Improvement Programme for the benefit of enhancing research work and increasing production in the pig industry.
The MoU established an obligation expected from the Ministry and the institutions to respect the formulae for distributing and rotating the parent breeds expected to expand and reach out to farmers across the country.
Speaking at a ceremony in Accra on Thursday, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, Caretaker Minister of the MOFA said, the MoU was significant since it would increase livestock production, which would help address protein deficiency in the country.
He said with the configuration of MOFA, it had now been reduced to two subsectors, crops and livestock, adding that it meant greater emphasis had been placed on livestock production than before.
Mr. Ahwoi added that the collaboration with the institutions? expert in piggery would help dynamise and coordinate activities to develop the requisite expertise to support the programme to increase production to meet national demand.
Mr. Asare Mensah, Director, Animal Production, said the purpose of the MoU was to ensure sustainability in the Pig Breed Improvement Programme for the benefit of the pig industry in Ghana.
He said the institutions had been selected to ensure there was always some level of stock available and also help in academic research work.
Mr. Mensah urged the participating institutions to observe all obligations under the MoU to guarantee common recording system to facilitate exchange of records for effective monitoring.
In August 2012, MOFA imported Grand Parent Pigs from France in support of its Pig Breed Improvement Programme for the benefit of the pig industry in Ghana.
Past efforts aimed at genetically improving pig breeds in the country could not be successfully sustained.
The Ministry, therefore, invited a breeding consortium, ABC Consortium to design a breeding scheme for implementing the current programme.
The rational among others is to ensure that the initiative would this time round result in tangible products for sustainability.
These institutions have agreed to participate in the breeding programme and have subsequently been allocated the following number of animals as specified in the breeding scheme.
The research institutions comprise the Animal Research Institute of CSIR (14), the Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Ghana (14), Animal Science Department of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (12) and Animal Science Department of University of Cape Coast (6).
It is expected that a total of at least 613 parental would be available for distribution to 120 participating breeder of the open nucleus breeding scheme in all the 10 regions of the country.