Apart from efforts being made by the government to revamp the country’s local rice sector, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture says it is also taking steps to revamp Ghana’s poultry industry which is also struggling due to huge chicken imports and lack of support.
The policy, which is under government’s Planting for Food and Jobs, is meant to equip poultry farmers to particularly cut down the cost of feed.
The Deputy Agriculture Minister, Kennedy Osei Nyarko in an interview with Citi News, highlighted the need to put systems in place to help local poultry farmers thrive.
“Under Planting for Food and Jobs, there was a deliberate policy to select key farms that would be provided with all the inputs needed to produce enough soya beans to feed our poultry industry. The industry is currently dying as a result of high cost of feed.”
The Deputy Minister’s comments follow recent calls by the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana, GAFPA, for government to take steps to cause a reduction in the volumes of chicken imported into the country ahead of the festive season.
This, the farmers say would go a long way to save the local poultry industry.
The Association says local poultry farmers still incur losses as consumers opt for imported chicken over the locally produced broilers.
The Association believes a deliberate reduction in import will grow the local industry and have a direct impact on job creation.
According to statistics from agricinghana.com, domestic consumption of poultry is increasing rapidly, hitting 13.9 percent per year in Ghana.
While the local production of poultry is growing at a rate of 14.1 percent, this is dominated by layers rather than broilers.
The Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana says this translates into an annual consumption of 230,000 tons of poultry of which only about five to ten percent is produced locally.
We’re yet to feel impact of reduced chicken import claims – Poultry Farmers
The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, GAFPA, says the huge imports of poultry products are taking a toll on their businesses, as they incur losses whenever citizens patronize cheap imported frozen chicken.
According to the Vice President of the Association Michael Ampem, they’re yet to feel the impact of government’s claim that it has reduced chicken imports.
“Those of us who’re into broilers, we are dealing with the imported broilers, and we’re looking at ways to bring the importation down. I am sure a lot of us have heard the rice farmers fighting to get rice imports banned, and we will also be glad as poultry farmers to have imported chicken if not totally banned, reduced to a level where we will be competitive”.
“The importation of chicken is a space that everybody occupies. So assuming you have 100 percent space and someone has taken eighty or ninety percent of that space it affects you. But if you were occupying about 80 percent and then person was occupying 20, you could say no problem. The importation doesn’t employ people; it employs people in the other countries. So if we do that, we will be able to create a lot of employment for the country and the level of unemployment will come down” Mr. Ampem noted.