Thesis Title: LIVESTOCK INVENTORY OF SMALL-SCALE FARMS IN GHANA WITH THE SPECIAL FOCUS ON FEEDSTUFFS
The aims of the study was to;
- Determine livestock and mini-livestock species diversity and numbers, to evaluate structure and management of small-scale farms in relation to nutrition and feeding of animals.
- Further aim of the study was to determine the source of feeds and define feedstuff costs.
The study was undertaken in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, where the capital of the nation, Accra, is located. It is the smallest in terms of land size among the ten regions of Ghana though, it is very important in poultry and pig production in Ghana. The region is the second largest in terms of regional population in Ghana and also constituting the region with the majority of middle class. Its religious distribution of 83% Christians, 10.2% Muslims and 6.8% belonging to other religions, also makes it easier and beneficial for all livestock production and consumption as far as religious beliefs are taken into consideration.
The main focused area in the region for my research was the Ga East District of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. This area was selected due to the presence of numerous small-scale livestock farms. The District office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture was consulted before visiting farms, to obtain background information about small-scale farms in the area.
- Data collection procedure
The research was carried out from 17th July to 29th August, 2017. The data was collected for this study through the use of interviews based on scenario. For easy communication and appropriate responses, the interviews were interpreted in ‘Twi’ (Ghanaian local language) to local farmers. Thirty (30) small-scale livestock farmers were selected from 10 towns (Abokobi, Agbogba, Ashongman, Dome, Haatso, Kwabenya, Oyarifa, Pantang, Taifa, Teima) using the snowball sampling technique. Personal observation was also used for plant feedstuff identification. Some plant species were also identified with the assistance of a Botanist from the University of Cape Coast. In all it was a great experience interacting with farmers to know their feeding systems adopted as well as their constraints.
Conclusions and recommendations
Ga East District is rich in forage species as different species were identified. Browse species were noted to be used mostly in the dry season when grasses/forbs are dried up. The parts of the browse plants mostly eaten by livestock are the leaves, fruits and twigs.
From the study, livestock farmers have in-depth knowledge of the forage species mostly required by livestock in the study area. However there is a threat to these species as farmers would have to travel longer distances to harvest as a result of increase in residential settlements.