Accra to Educate Public on Safety of Pork

ACCRA, GHANA - The first Accra Pork Festival and Sales Bonanza would be held in Accra from 11 to 13 December 2009 to educate the public that pigs reared in Ghana were safe for human consumption.
calendar icon 1 October 2009
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It is being organised by the Ghana Writers and Newspapers Society (GWANSO), a media and public advocacy organisation in conjunction with pig farmers, Animal Production Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) with sponsorship from SOTREC Meat and Groceries Limited and Mark Jones Meat Products.

It is under the theme "Pork is Safe to Eat" and will be held at the Afua Sutherland Children's Park, reports GhanaWeb.

Mr Hector Wulff, Event Director and member of GWANSO, said that the organisers realised the negative publicity that had plagued the piggery and pork industry due to unfair media coverage of the recent outbreak of the H1N1 2009 flu (swine flu).

He said the unfair media coverage had led to sever economic hardship on farmers, meat processors and vendors hence their decision to consult stakeholders in the industry to find ways to boost consumer confidence and enthusiasm.

"Through our consultations it was realised that a pork festival could serve as an appropriate platform to promote this suffering industry," he said. Mr Wulff said as social responsibility, part of the proceeds to be accrued would be channeled into a National Youth Piggery Project, a private initiative to create jobs for the youth and the Safe Haven Drug Rehabilitation Centre.

Dr Bashiru Boi Kikimoto, Head of Bacteriology Unit, Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory, Accra Veterinary Laboratory, said the festival was important because it would help to educate the public that H1N1 2009 was not solely associated with pigs.

He said most of the pigs reared in Ghana were kept in hygienic conditions and unlike the past, when the meat was full of fat, the current breed were almost a lean meat and healthy for human consumption. Dr Kikimoto pledged the commitment of Veterinary Service to assist farmers in the event of any future outbreak of the pandemic. Nii Nikoe Ashalley I, Kaneshie Mantse, appealed to the media to research and evaluate issues before reporting on them. "The harm has been done already but we need to educate the public that pork is safe for eating," he added. Nii Ashalley appealed to Government to assist pig farmers with technical training and credit facilities to boost the industry.

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