The Amrahia Dairy Farm is one of the seven national Livestock Breeding Stations of the Animal Production Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The farm is located on the Accra – Dodowa road about 27 km from Accra.
The farm was established in 1967 as a pilot nucleus dairy farm and has since then been the focal point for the development of the dairy industry in Ghana.
MANDATE OF ADF
The mandate and objectives of the station include:
- To test the survivability of the Friesian breed of cattle under local conditions and climate
- To supply cross bred bulls to prospective dairy farmers for breeding purposes aimed at upgrading the milk production potential of the local breeds of cattle
- To improve milk yield potential of Ghanaian cattle through cross breeding and selection
- To develop easy care adapted cow for efficient production in the Ghanaian environment
- To increase the meat production potential of dairy cattle for dual purpose production.
- To generate and sustain increase in cattle production to meet domestic requirement of animal protein and products
- To offer training and practical facilities to farmers and students of Agriculture at various levels and the general public in dairy husbandry techniques, hygienic milk collection, handling, processing and marketing of milk and milk products
- To offer artificial insemination services to cattle farmers.
The following strategies were developed to achieve the above mentioned objectives:
- The use of crossbreeding through artificial insemination (AI) on both station and farmers’ farms in the upgrading of the local cattle
- Sale of crossbred bulls and heifers to farmers
- Monitoring the performance of crossbreds sold to farmers
- Development of pasture to feed stock
- Collaboration with NGOs, Research Institutions and Universities to develop the dairy industry in Ghana.
OPERATIONS OF THE STATION
The ADF by its mandate is to develop through selection of the Sanga a dual purpose animal for the dairy industry. To prosecute this mandate, the station is engaged in the production of crossbreds from the Sanga and Friesian and/or Jersey with a potential for higher milk production. Through selective breeding, crosses involving the Sanga (dam line) and the Friesian/ Jersey (sire line) are developed. The crossbreds are expected to combine the good qualities of the Sanga (local adaptation) and the high milk production quality of the sire lines.
GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF DAIRY CATTLE
These are offsprings from the Sanga (local cattle) and the Friesian (exotic breed) for milk production. These animals are solely zero grazed i.e. pastures are cultivated and harvested to feed these animals
These are the local breed of cattle used for the crossbreeding programme and unlike the crossbreds they go out to feed on the grazing lands.
ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION (AI) SERVICES
The station uses imported semen from the exotic breeds for AI on the stock of the farm as well offers such AI services to farmers.
It is the only semen bank for artificial insemination in the country.
The station has a model milk processing centre which serves as a resource centre for training and processing of raw milk into other products.
This unit processes milk produced on the farm as well as purchase milk from cattle farmers in the catchment areas of the farm for production of yoghurt, pasteurized milk, ghee and other milk products for sale to consumers.
The farm serving as the national dairy centre in Ghana trains cattle farmers, milk processors and students in dairy husbandry. Annually the farm trains on average 1,500 to 2,000 processors, farmers and milk vendors. Students from the public universities, polytechnics, agricultural colleges and senior high schools come for practical training in dairy production and processing.
The farm is currently into collaboration with research institutions and the national universities in the conduct of research into dairy technologies.
The station develops pasture to feed zero grazed animals (mainly crossbreds) which do not go out for grazing.
The grazing land (the range) is also improved by over sowing with various leguminous pasture species such as Stylosanthes hamata and Centrosema pubescens.