The second edition of Volta Pork Fair, aimed at stimulating investment for the swine industry and to increase the consumption of pork, has been launched in Ho in the Volta Region.
It was on the theme, “Developing the local swine value chain: a viable alternative to tackling youth unemployment and launched by the Mega Pork Fair Company in association with Progressive Pig Farmers Network Of Ghana and several other collaborators including the Volta Region Coordinating Council (VRCC).
The four-day fair is slated for March 30-April 2, 2018 at the Parks and Gardens in Ho.
The chairman of the planning committee of the fair, Mr George Kwaku Yeboah, said the huge potential in the swine industry behoved policy makers to have a broader view and be guided by development elsewhere in the world to tap into the potential for growth in Gross Domestic Product(GDP).
“If we are going to truly arrest the bulging national youth unemployment situation which is steadily assuming national security proportions, agribusiness, premised on local production, value addition and consumption must be aggressively promoted”, he advised.
He said the Mega Pork Fair Company had the sole objective of creating a platform for every pig farmer, caterer, feed producer, veterinarian, processor, investor and policy maker to converge and share ideas on how to develop business around the local pork industry in tandem with the government’s policy to promote private sector-led initiatives for national development.
Mr Yeboah, therefore, appealed to corporate Ghana, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and the investor community to buy into the vision of the company to help develop the local pork industry into one that could employ several young people roaming the streets looking for non-existent jobs.
At the launch, the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, congratulated the company for their vision and initiative.
He said pork was an important meat consumed on a large scale worldwide and prayed that the endless value chain inherent in the industry would be exposed to the youth for employment.
In a speech read on his behalf, Volta Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Samuel Kofi Larbi, said the fair could help clear the myth surrounding pork and promote the rearing of pigs among the youth.
According to him, the country’s per capita meat consumption of 13 kg/person/year was far below the 23/kg/person/year and that pork had the potential of filling the gap, adding also that, the agricultural sector contributed 19.1 per cent of GDP in 2016 in terms of skilled and unskilled ?? with livestock contributing only 5.4 per cent, thus, making the swine industry very lucrative with very high turn overs in terms of profit making.
Mr Larbi said the government would continue to roll out some credit schemes to support the livestock and poultry sectors with the hope that the pork fair will continue to address issues of pig production on a bigger platform.