Beef, a by-product of cattle, is one of the most consumed meat products in Ghana. Year in, year out, lots of cattle are being slaughtered for beef production. But there is one significant observation to note: most of the cattle herders in Ghana are of Northern extraction (Fulani Nomads). This doesn’t mean that no other tribe in Ghana breeds cattle apart from the Fulanis.
Even though the Fulanis are the main dealers in the cattle rearing business in Ghana, anyone can venture into this business opportunity and profit from it.
Cattle farming in Ghana has to do with raising cattle livestock for consumption. Cattle is a general name for both Cows and Bulls. The Fulani Nomads mostly practice cattle rearing in Ghana, and it is rampant in the northern part of Ghana.
BEING A CATTLE FARMER DOESN’T MAKE YOU A FULANI HERDSMAN.
The cattle rearing business is a very lucrative business as it does not only rear cows for meat production but also milk production and other uses such as leather production.
In this article, I will be telling you about how to start a cattle farming business in Ghana, starting from the very first step.
What is Cattle Farming?
Cattle farming is the type of livestock farming that has to do with raising cows for agricultural purposes such as beef, milk, etc. Cattle raising has served as a way of employment to people who are involved in it. It also serves as a source of income since it is considered to be very lucrative.
The types of cattle farming are
- Beef Cattle: This is cattle production where its sole purpose is for meat production.
- Dairy Cattle: These are cattle that are raised for milk production
- Dual-purpose Cattle: This type of cattle is grown both for milk and for beef production. It is usually used for milk production for a long time before it is used for beef production.
Some of the economic importance of cattle farming include:
- Cattle raising is a source of employment for those that engage in it.
- It serves as the major source of revenue for some areas, such as the northern part of Ghana, which involve extensively in cattle raising.
- They provide milk and meat for domestic use.
- Their skin is used for leather production
- Faeces from cattle are used as manure for plants on farms
Below are a few steps to consider on how to start a cattle farming business in Ghana
1. Have a business plan
2. Acquire a good location for your business
3. Choose the type of cattle farming you want to go into
4. Build a Cattleshed
5. Purchase and prepare equipment required for cattle raising
6. Get young calves.
7. Raising cows from birth to maturity.
8. Sales of cattle during festive periods such as burials, wedding ceremonies, Christmas and Islamic festivals.
1. Have a Business Plan
Most people usually go into a business without having a business plan. Having a business plan means prior planning and simulation to understand the possible challenges faced when venturing into this business.
Before going into cattle farming, you should have a business plan and understand the need for your location to establish your farm and your target market. Also, consider factors such as accessibility to water, free land for grazing, etc. These are some of the factors to consider before starting a cattle-raising business in Ghana.
2. Acquire Land in a Good Location for your Business
Getting vast and arable land in a good location is very important in raising cattle. This is because cattle like to walk around and feed voluntarily. Space is an essential factor in this business. There should be access to drinkable water in the farmland.
The land should be located in an area away from where commercial or residential activities are taking place as pollution may emanate from the cattle farm. Land can be rented or paid outright for. If you already have a large piece of land, you can use it to start this business.
3. Choose the type of cattle farming you want to go into
This is a very important decision as this will determine the structuring of your farm activities. Choose between going into beef cattle production or dairy cattle production, or both. Also, another vital thing to choose is the nature of cattle raising; Ranch or herding?
The ranch method of cattle raising is one where the cattle is raised in an enclosed ranch, and the movement of the cows is controlled and confined to a specific area of the farmland. This type of cattle raising is not rampant in Ghana.
The herding method of cattle raising is the nomadic type where cattle is moved from place to place in search of food and water (open grazing). It is the method most adopted by cattle owners in Ghana. Although this method has so many disadvantages, it is still widely practiced in Ghana.
4. Build a Cattle Shed
For one that owns a ranch, building a cattle shed is very important in cattle raising. The cattle shed should be constructed and provided with an entrance large enough to allow for free passage of the cattle. It should also be able to accommodate the number of cows you plan to raise comfortably.
The cowshed should be properly secured to avoid theft and infestation by dangerous animals such as snakes. Fumigation can be done around the surroundings of the cowshed to ensure that the environment is free from these animals. A barbed-wire can be constructed around the cowshed for added security.
5. Purchase and Prepare Equipment for Cattle Farming
Equipment required for cattle farming includes the feeders, water tubs, a working watering system, and proper health care equipment. Ensure to purchase this equipment. Water can be supplied through boreholes, and health equipment should be readily available to attend to cattle if they fall ill.
6. Get Young Calfs
Young cattle can be bought from the local market where herders sell cows. Different breeds of cattle are suitable for different purposes. Get the best breed, depending on your goal.
Below is a list of different cow breeds and where they are most suitable
For meat production:
For dairy production:
- Adamawa Gudali.
- Sokoto Gudali.
7. Raising of Cow to Maturity
Great care should be taken while raising cows to avoid disease infestation. Cattles are big animals and should be given great attention. When good attention is given to cattle, it is easy to detect when things are not going right. Cows should be adequately fed and can be taken around a field for grazing.
Clean water should also be provided for the cattle to avoid dehydration. The services of a veterinary doctor should be contracted to give regular medical checks up on the cattle and ensure that they are all in their best conditions. Some of the diseases that might infest cattle include:
- Heartwater: Symptoms of this disease are majorly fever and convulsion, in extreme cases. It can be treated with Tetracycline.
- Redwater: Symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, red urine, pale eyes, and sometimes nervous signs such as difficulty in walking.
- Gall sickness: Spread by blood, symptoms include depression, lack of appetite, fever, pale gums and eyes, as well as constipation.
- Ticks: The wounds created by ticks can be infected by bacteria, fungi, and flies.
Beef is a much-needed product in Ghana homes, and selling it will not be much of a problem. Approach meat butchers and offer to sell your cattle to them at a reasonable price. You can also take your products to nearby markets for sales.
Most cattle farmers in Ghana also transport their cattle to different parts of the country to increase the demand for their products. Milk produced from cattle can also be sold raw or processed into dry milk to its end users.
How Much Is Required To Start A Cattle Farming Business In Ghana?
Starting a cattle farming business might be pretty expensive due to the cost of cattle. A matured cow costs between 4700 Ghana Cedis to Ghana cedis. However, young calves are not very expensive. Cattles can also be gotten from female cows who give birth. This reduces the cost of buying young calves.
Therefore, the cost of starting a cattle farming business can cost anywhere between 4700 Ghana cedis and above. The actual cost is dependent on the number of cows and other factors that are dependent on location, feeding cost, etc.