GHANA IS estimated to produce over 100 million Guinea Fowls annually in three years to come as the nation receives about 350,000 dollars from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to support Guinea Fowl production in the three regions of the North – Upper West, Upper East and Northern.
The Project dubbed: “Enhanced Guinea Fowl Production in the three Northern Regions of Ghana” is under the government’s Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Development Strategy (AAGDS and the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II), which is aimed at improving food security, human welfare and the reduction of poverty in Ghana.
The three year project which is being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Centre for Enterprise and Sustainable Development (ICED), is expected to increase the production of Guinea Fowls from the current 30 million birds annually to 100 million in the next three years.
Speaking at a three day capacity building training programme for Guinea Fowl farmers, Processors and Agricultural Extension Officers of MoFA drawn from 22 communities in the three regions, the Assistant Programme Officer of FAO-Ghana, Mr. Godwin Phylix Cudjoe indicated that the project was designed to strengthen farmers and the MoFA officials’ capacity in adopting modern Guinea Fowl production techniques.
He said that, it was also aimed at increasing access to local and international markets for Guinea Fowls and generating sustainable employment and income-earning opportunities for the local population.
Mr. Cudjoe noted that as part of the project, three demonstration and breeding centres (hatcheries) are being established at Pong-Tamale in the Northern region, Paga in the Upper East region and Babile in the Upper West region (almost complete) to enhance the production of guinea fowl.
He said that the breeding and demonstration centres would be equipped with the necessary hatchery equipment including; incubators, watering and feeding troughs, feed drugs and vaccines, improved housing and sanitation, disease prevention and control and the centres are also stocked with 2,500 high laying egg efficiency peal with exotic Guinea fowl keets each.
|Grilled Guinea fowl for consumption|
A total of 1,650 farmers are expected to benefit from the project, according to Mr. Cudjoe.
The National Project Coordinator of the Enhanced Guinea Fowl Production in Northern Ghana, Samuel Yaw Apiiga said that the FAO and its partners had chosen the three Northern Regions for the project because of their peculiar poverty situation.
According to him, Guinea Fowl was the favourite meat for thousands of Ghanaians due to its nutritional value and low fats level.
Unfortunately, the demand for guinea fowl in Ghana is very high but supply continues to decrease on daily basis. So far, the production or supply of guinea fowl in Ghana is over 60% below demand from consumers.
Dr. Franklin Avornyo, a Consultant to the Enhanced Guinea Fowl project from the Animal Research Institute of the CSRI, Nyankpala Station said that research had shown that farmers sometimes record over 90% deaths in Guinea Fowl production.
He said that the demand for Guinea Fowl in the Northern regions was three times higher than production or supply.
However, the Project according to Prof Emmanuel Boon, Executive Director of International Centre for Enterprise and Sustainable Development (ICED) had introduced modern Guinea Fowl production equipment and exotic breeds to arrest the high mortality associated with guinea fowl production.
Encouraging the youth to go into guinea fowl production and become self-reliant, Prof Boon expressed the hope that the beneficiary farmers and their households would see drastic economic transformation in their lives, should the project succeed.