Archive | January 2014

African swine fever outbreak in Nzema Ellembelle District

The Veterinary Services Directorates of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) on Friday, January 24, 2014 warned residents living in and around the catchment area of Ellembelle districts of the Western Region to avoid consuming pork until further notice.

imagesThere is an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) at Ellembelle, hence the directive, but “lovers of pork, living elsewhere in the country could however consume their delicacy, which is safe,” Dr Stephen Ockling, Deputy Director at the Directorate stated.

The Directorates, in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), has however, placed “a ban on the movement of pigs and pork within, into and out of the affected areas, comprising of Anokyi, Baku, Ngalekyi and Ngalekpole all in the Ellembelle district”.

Dr Ockling, who briefed participants at a NADMO training Workshop organised in Accra said close to 1,192 pigs had been destroyed either through natural death or by humane killing to avoid the spread of the disease.

swine-fever

He described the loss as an economic disaster as farmers rearing the pigs in the outbreak area have lost close to GHc300,000 due to the destruction of their pigs to the disease.

He said currently, MOFA and NADMO have embarked on an educational drive within the catchment areas of the outbreak, right from those who slaughter pigs to those who distribute them.

Meanwhile, a release issued by NADMO and signed by Mr Ebenezer Dosoo, Deputy National Coordinator, Technical, has urged security agencies, GPRTU and the general public to support to enforce the control measures.

All pig farmers in the country are also urged to report immediately, the presence of any strange diseases among the pigs to the nearest NADMO, MoFA or Veterinary officers in their locality.

“NADMO together with the Veterinary Service Directorate, the Western Regional Coordinating Council and the Regional Director of MoFA are seriously working hard to bring the outbreak under control”, the release added.

Mr Daniel Kamatu Eshun, District Chief Executive for Ellembelle

Mr Daniel Kamatu Eshun, District Chief Executive for Ellembelle

He said because more than 900 infected pigs would be slaughtered and burnt, the assembly had to support pig farmers with new and healthy piggery to sustain their livelihoods.

Mr. Eshun however did not give out details as to how the government and its Ministry of Agriculture intends to help these poor farmers out of their current unfortunate loses.

Source: GNA

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Western Region likely to face food insecurity

Citi News can confirm that the Western Region could face looming food insecurity in the coming years due to a decline in the production of basic food crops.

According to a Human Development report on the Western Region and published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), seven districts namely, Wassa Amenfi East, West and Central, Juabeso, Aowin Suaman, Sehwi Akontobra and Sehwi Yooso have seen a decline in the production of food crops such as maize, plantain, yam, cassava etc.

According to the report, the problem has to do with galamsey activities and the deteriorating road network linking them to the urban centres like the Sekondi Takoradi metropolis.

Citi News however confirmed the findings in the report after consultations with the various District Agric Directors.

The Head of Food at the Wassa Amenfi West District Mr. Elvis Duvor in an interview with Citi News revealed that farmers in the area are mostly above the age of 50 whereas the young men in the area are engaged in galamsey which according to him “brings quick money into their pockets.”

He added that because the young men see agriculture as an unattractive venture, it has resulted in a sharp price for labour in the area of resources both human and capital.

Meanwhile, the Ahanta West Director of Agriculture, Mr. Acheampong also stated that although they were “producing cassava to a tune of 36,000 metric tons, plantain 6.5 metric tons and maize at about 15,000 metric tons but the problem is that there has been a huge decrease in the production of these food crops because of the intensified investments by oil related businesses like the Plant Pool and Estate developments as well as galamsey activities.”

He stressed that if activities of galamsey operators are not checked, it would continue to hamper the progress of food security in the country.



By: Winnifred P. Ndamse/citifmonline.com/Ghana