Accra, March 12, GNA - The Greater Accra Regional Chief Butcher, Alhaji Zakari Sofo has attributed the high cost of beef on the market to competition from cattle dealers from Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire. He said the price of beef had increased from 14 Ghana cedis to 20 Ghana Cedis per kilogramme over the past three months as a result of shortage of cattle in the country.
Alhaji Sofo, who was speaking at meeting of the Ghana Butchers Co-operative Association, attributed the shortage and price increase to the influx of foreigners into the two main cattle trading centres. He said while Nigerians were competing with Ghanaians to buy cattle at Yeji, those from Cote d'Ivoire were doing the same at Putinga on the border with Burkina Faso.
Alhaji Sofo, therefore, appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to come out with a national policy on livestock development and production to ensure the regular supply of meat on the market.
As an interim measure, he suggested to the Minister of Agriculture to call for a meeting of all stakeholders to brainstorm on the issue to find a solution, since the shortage of meat was having an adverse effect on the protein intake of Ghanaians.
He said members of the Association were now relying on small-scale local producers and expressed the fear that the country could face an acute shortage of cattle in the future if serious efforts were not initiated to arrest the situation. 12 March 08