Resistencia a los antimicrobianos

Ensuring Food Security and Food Safety through Farmer Field Schools in the poultry sector in Ghana


Ghana's intensive poultry production system is being expanded to meet the growing demand for animal protein from the rapidly expanding population. It also serves as an economic backbone for many medium and small-scale farmers in the livestock sector and appears to be boosting the local and external economies in some areas of the country. Therefore, promoting the work of poultry farmers is key to the socio-economic well-being of the people in these poultry farming areas. 

However, such intensive farming systems lead to high exposure of livestock to antimicrobials, which promotes the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Drug resistance negatively impacts the sustainability of the poultry industry and affects production, productivity and profitability of the business. Therefore, promoting the prudent use of antimicrobials is crucial to reduce the need for antimicrobials.

The use of antimicrobials is also a matter of behaviour. FAO and the Ghanaian government, through the Veterinary Services Directorate, are working with poultry farmers to change farmer’s behaviour on antimicrobial use through Farmer Field Schools (FFS) funded by the UK Fleming Fund.

Since 2021, five FFS have been established in Dormaa district, the centre of Ghana's poultry production, and in Kade district, a new entrant in the poultry sector, about 130 farmers and seven facilitators have been trained in the prudent use of antimicrobials in poultry production. 

At the graduation ceremony of the second cohort of FFS participants, Benjamin Kisis Sasu, Head of the Food Safety Laboratory of the Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, on behalf of the Chief Veterinary Officer, commended FAO for organizing the Farmer Field School programme, which trains farmers to improve their business and provide safe food.

Seth Antwi Boasiako, Municipal Chief Executive of the Kwaebibirem Municipal Assembly, indicated that plans are well advanced to incorporate FFS into the general agricultural activities of the municipality and confirmed that it has been included in the preparation of the 2023 general budget.

"These FFS participants are now experts themselves in the use of antimicrobials in poultry production. They no longer mix antibiotic capsules into poultry feed; they no longer give antibiotics to day-old chicks; they no longer give antibiotics to birds for the prevention of diseases, as growth promoters or as egg boosters. The chicken and table eggs they produce are therefore safe and healthy for all of us and free of drug residues," said Benjamin Adjei, FAO Assistant Representative in Ghana.

''Thanks to the efforts of participants, AMR will be minimized, poultry farming will be made more sustainable, and food safety, food security and public health will be promoted, thereby improving livelihoods and reducing poverty while achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," he concluded.

Supporting innovation and resilience in food and agriculture sectors

In Ghana, the government has developed and launched an AMR Policy and National Action Plan involving all four state ministers responsible for the core AMR sector: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, in order to harmonize activities in the areas of human health, animal health and the environment, embracing the One Health approach to address AMR through joint actions.

Protecting food and health systems is a common need of our global society. FAO is committed to supporting its Members in their efforts to protect themselves from economic losses as resistant microbes contaminate the environment, cross borders and spread easily between humans and animals. The FAO Action Plan on AMR 2021 - 2025 supports the implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR. It serves as a roadmap for uniting global efforts to address AMR in the food and agriculture sectors. The time for action is now.

Compartir esta página