By Jerry Azanduna, GNA
Accra, Aug 2, GNA – A new ultra-modern livestock sales point to market livestock in Bawku and its environs has been commissioned in Bawku in the Upper East Region.
The GHc264,452 livestock market is expected to promote sales and encourage livestock trade in the West African Sub-Region for the enhancement of quality livelihoods.
It is further expected to serve as one of the most reliable sources of income generating avenues for the Bawku Municipality.
The market which has been in existence since the 1980’s served neighboring countries including; Burkina Faso, Togo, and some Saharan countries including; Mali and Niger among others.
However, it has never been given a facelift until March this year when a sod was cut to construct a new fence for the market to harness quality livestock marketing in the area.
The facility consists of a fenced wall, toilet, and offices for administrative work, veterinary post, and revenue office, loading ramp, cattle wrench connected to a water supply system among others.
The market project which comes under the Strengthening the Resilience of Agro-Pastoral Systems in West Africa (PARSAO) was funded by the France Development Agency (FDA) and implemented by the Acting for Life and Ghana Developing Communities Agency (GDCA).
The project looks at addressing how farmers move their livestock from the aforementioned countries across the borders down to the coastal countries to look for posture to grace their animals.
Statistics from the Bawku area market committee indicated that from January to June 2017, about 96, 000 cattle and other ruminants were transported from Bawku and Burkina Faso to livestock markets in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and Ashiaman in the Tema area.
The statistics further indicated that in 2018 alone, from January to June, about 48,120 cattle were sent from Bawku and Burkina Faso to supply to the Kumasi and Ashiaman markets.
Mr Kwamina Arkorful, National Director in charge of Animal Production at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture who commissioned the facility on behalf of the sector Minister commended the partnering agencies and said the Ministry was seeking partnership especially with the private sector to develop the sector.
Mr Akrkorful noted that livestock farming was an area that must be given the needed attention, and said however that there was the need for stakeholders including patrons of the facility to help improve on the sanitation at the market to keep it healthy.
He underscored the need for the livestock sector to be revamped because the industry was a critical area that could rake in enough revenue for national development among other things.
He said since taxes could be collected from the area, collectors should be fair to all and allow everyone pay the needed taxes to the authorities, urging all to desist from nepotism and corruption and to ensure that the right things were done to avoid chaos at the market.
Hajia Hawa Ninchemah, Bawku Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) expressed optimism at the growth of the livestock industry in the Bawku area and indicated that it had the potential to attract more traders from neighboring countries that are well endowed in livestock rearing.
She said the facility would bring about employment opportunities to the people, especially the teeming youth and promote income generation for the development of the area.
Hajia Ninchemah confirmed that the Bawku livestock market was a major source of revenue in the internal revenue generation drive of the Bawku Municipal Assembly, and added that the upgrading and modernisation of the market would maximise its potential in income generation.
The MCE called on all to support the intervention made by the development partners to improve on their livelihoods.