The All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture (AACA) which is scheduled to take place in Accra from July 29 to 31, 2019 will focus on modernised livestock breeding and how to position the region’s agricultural subsector to attract massive investment.

The conference which is first of its kind to be held in Ghana is expected to attract over 500 participants from across Africa.

It is under the theme: ‘Innovations to Harness the Potential of African Animal Agriculture in a Globalising World’.

It is aimed at providing an opportunity for scientists and the broader stakeholders in the animal agricultural sector to discuss the potential role of innovation in animal agriculture to improve the livelihoods of Africans.

It will examine how the continent's animal agriculture can increase its private sector engagement through public-private sector partnerships.

It will also explore the opportunities and prospects for transforming ruminant livestock systems in Africa, with a special focus on dairying and including the disciplinary areas —genetics/breeding, nutrition/feeding, animal health, and input and output markets.

The local organising partners for AACA include the Ghana Society on Animal Production (GSAP), Ghana Animal Science Association, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and the Animal Production Unit of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The event, an initiative of Ministry of the Food and Agriculture and Agrihouse Foundation, will run alongside the 2019 edition of the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Trade Show, which is also aimed at showcasing and promoting the country’s livestock, poultry and fisheries production, value chain and job opportunities through exhibitions and training programs.

Some of the critical areas participants will discuss include opportunities and prospects for transforming poultry and pig systems in Africa with a special focus on poultry, and including the disciplinary areas — genetics/breeding, nutrition/feeding, animal health, and input and output markets.

Other topics that will be discussed at the 2019 edition of the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Trade Show include animal welfare and human livelihood dimensions With special attention to the working donkeys and mules in Africa; Climate change and animal agriculture — adaptation and mitigation opportunities and prospects in animal agriculture.

The broader objective of this meeting will be met by attempting, through discussions of a series of papers, to answer the various questions around the thematic areas.

Speaking at a press conference to throw more light on the conference the Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s Director of Animal Production, Edwin Bekoe, advised Ghanaians to be innovative in order to take advantage of many opportunities available in the industry.

He said farmers should work in groups to enable them to take orders.

He announced that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has started a project called e Agriculture under which animals will be Tagged to enable agricultural extension officers to compile data on the tagged animals for disease control and surveillance.

According to him, this will alert veterinary doctors to take prompt action on any possible outbreak of disease. 

Mr Bekoe said his outfit is going to train farmers on how to take proper care of their livestock with including how to conserve and utilise agro bi-products to feed their animals to reduce operational cost.

On her part, Madam Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation and organising partner of the event, expressed how optimistic she was about the event.

According to her, successive governments have rolled out initiatives to boost commercial livestock farming in Ghana the recent being the Rearing for food and Jobs Program (RFJ) however the private sector is also required to come out with the strategies to ensure desired gains.

“One of such strategies is a platform that would enable major stakeholder to market their product and services, receive training in their line of business and create a network to move their businesses further. This among others is what the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Trade Show seeks to achieve,” she said.