Ghanaians urged to consume more rabbit

A three-day workshop aimed at creating awareness of the relevance of rabbit production and its contribution to the economic growth of the country opened in Accra on Monday, with a call on Ghanaians to patronise the consumption of rabbit meat.

The Deputy Minister in-charge of Livestock at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Alfred Tia Sugri, who made the call in a speech read on his behalf, noted that though the commercial production of rabbit could contribute significantly to the economy, its relevance has been underestimated.

Speaking on the theme – “Rabbit production for wealth creation”, he said available statistics indicated that Ghana’s current per capita meat consumption of 11 kilogrammes was lower than that of the Sub-Sahara Africa of 13 kilogrammes and the world’s average of 39 kilogrammes.

“This statistics shows that meat intake in Ghana is one of the lowest in Africa,” he added.

He said although Ghana was meeting its meat requirement, government had not relented in initiating programmes and policies to address the challenges.

“In 2010, domestic meat production stood at 112, 067 tonnes whilst the import figure was 125, 327.5 tonnes. The total figure was still not sufficient to satisfy the national meat requirement”, he added.

He said as part of the ministry’s efforts to address the country’s livestock and delivery system, his outfit established a national cockerel project a year ago.

“The objective of the project is to enhance food security, increase intake of animal protein and income earning capacity of rural dwellers with the view to reducing poverty among small scale poultry farmers,” he stated.

The president of the Ghana Society of Animal Production (GSAP), Dr K. Awuma, said that the workshop besides aiming at drawing attention to the declining levels of rabbit production in Ghana was also to strategise on how to increase production by focusing on the great prospects of rabbit production.

Speaking on the nutritional values of rabbit meat, he said “it is of high quality and has low cholesterol fat as compared to other livestock.”

Source: The Ghanaian Times/Ghana