Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS) has indicated that 90 per cent of the country’s meat products are imported.
He said the situation is retarding the meat industry and called for urgent steps to meet the demands of local consumers.
He said the country has been importing large quantities of its meat products from Burkina Faso and other European countries while the country has huge potential to produce quality and quantity needs for its populace.
“We must begin to produce meat in Ghana now,” he said. Prof Teye was speaking at the Dugu campus of the UDS during his inaugural lecture on the topic: “The meat industry: a potential pivot for national development,” which attracted many enthusiasts from the academia and various industries to listen to the intellectual piece.
He said the meat industry holds a great potential to provide numerous job opportunities to many Ghanaians, provide adequate and sufficient protein, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and other substantive minerals that would ensure the growth and productivity of many Ghanaians.
He said most of the defunct meat factories in the country should be revamp to ensure that the people get the needed protein needs. He noted that butchering is one of the oldest professions that could employ many youth including graduates to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
Prof Teye said Ghana is absolute meat importer and spent $ 390,994.530 in 2011 on importation of live animals and meat. He said the money could be saved for others purposes and create jobs for the teeming youth.
He said the agricultural sector contributes 23.7 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014 in both skilled and unskilled labour while the livestock subsector contributed only 1.3 per cent.
He said 12,000 goats were imported into the country from Burkina Faso in 2013, although the northern parts of the country have similar climates that could produce the needed quantities of meat for consumption and for export.
Prof Haruna Yakubu, Vice Chancellor for the UDS said universities all over the world provide opportunities for senior members who attain the status of a full professorship to deliver inaugural lectures as part of the scholarship procedure.
He said Prof Teye had risen through the ranks since 1996 when he was employed in the UDS to become a fully professor in 2014 and was an honour for him to deliver his inaugural lecture. GNA