Ghana’s Animal Production Society & Animal Science Association first joint conference addresses animal production amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The Ghana Society of Animal Production (GSAP) and the Ghana Animal Science Association (GASA) jointly organised its first conference on the theme ‘‘Sustainable rearing for food and jobs in the era of COVID-19: the role of stakeholders in the animal industry.’’

The event took place at the International Conference Centre of the University for Development Studies (UDS).

Day-one was the Opening Ceremony and the latter part of the day featured paper presentations which proceed to Thursday, day-two.

The Opening Ceremony was chaired by former Dean of UDS Graduate School and current Director of the Directorate of Academic Planning and Quality Assurance, Professor Herbert K. Dei.

Vice Chancellor of UDS Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye in his welcome address said ‘We are very proud to be the host of this event’.

He said that the quest to host this joint conference started not today, but efforts have always proved futile. For this, he commended the organizers for a good job done.

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‘‘As a member of both associations, I recall our efforts to organize a joint conference which wasn’t possible. I congratulate you for being able to do that’’

He used the opportunity to urge participants to make the best out of the conference.

A professor of Animal Science in the University of Ghana’s Animal Science Department, Professor Frederick Yeboah Obese highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the animal industry.

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Cost of input such as feed were some of the challenges he highlighted to have caused productivity to stepdown due to the COVID restrictions.

The shortage in feed has led to shoot in prices of livestock products, etc. Prof. Obese said there is the need for scientists to develop alternate feed to reduce the competition for maize, wheat bran, etc. between humans and animals.

Representative of the Minister for Food and Agriculture – Mr. Jonas, also expressed the honour to be part of the conference and reiterated the numerous significant role the animal industry plays in socioeconomic development.

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Minister’s Representative did not also leave the fact that animal products provides us with essential and non-essential nutrients for growth and development.

Other presentation were made by the Chairman of the Ghana Cattle Ranching Committee and advisor to government on issues related to that regard, Dr. Kwame Oppong-Anane who spoke on ‘‘Transhumance Herder-Crop Farmer conflicts in Ghana: causes, effects and the role of the state’’.

A platform was also opened for questions which were answered by a panel including Rev. Dr. Richard Osei-Amponsah, Prof. Frederick Y. Obese, the Minister’s representative and Mr. Edwin Bekoi. It was moderated by Prof. Julius Hagan.

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National President of GSAP, Rev. Dr. Richard Osei-Amponsah, expressed his happiness for this first ever joint conference. He advised researchers to rather be conscious of channeling research for development rather than for promotions.

Subsequently, paper presentations were done in the parallel sessions at the latter part of day-one through to day-two.

A communique was also drafted at the end of the conference on things discussed in the proceedings, conclusions and recommendations.

The communique they said if looked at by government, will offer great solutions on what government can do to improve the ‘rearing for and jobs’ initiative, sustainable COVID-19 resilience ideas for the animal industry, etc.

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