Egg sellers in Sunyani and other parts of the Bono Region say they’re incurring losses as they’re unable to sell much of the eggs due to challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The sellers, who usually supply a chunk of the eggs to Senior High Schools and export some to neighbouring countries, say they’re not able to do so due to COVID-19 induced restrictions including the closure of schools.
The Bono Region produces about fifty percent of the Ghana’s poultry products with over five thousand poultry farmers in the business.
There is also an estimated two thousand egg sellers in the supply chain
Before Ghana recorded its first COVID-19 cases in March this year, the egg business was flourishing with minimal challenges.
The egg sellers usually supply their customers in Accra, Kumasi and other cities nationwide, but they were severely hit during the three-week partial lockdown as their movements were limited.
Despite the lifting of the partial lockdown, business has not picked up fully, as the existing ban on public gatherings, and the closure of schools is still taking a toll on them.
This is because some of the schools, particularly the public Senior High Schools, purchase a lot of eggs which serve as protein for the meals often prepared for boarding students.
Even at the lower primary level in the public sector, the Ghana School Feeding Programme relies heavily on eggs in their meals.
With all these schools closed and most hotels and restaurants not operating fully, demand for eggs has reduced.
When Citi Business News visited most of the egg stores located at the Chiraa bus terminal in Sunyani, they had all been locked up.
Araba Hazel, an egg seller, told Citi Business News, “We have suffered the consequences. Before the outbreak of the disease within a week we were able to sell our eggs, but since the outbreak we are unable to sell the eggs. The disease has destroyed our business, and so we’re unable to go for eggs.
Abena Amponsah, another trader, said “When students were around, we sell alot of eggs. But now when we bring the eggs within two weeks we are unable to sell them. When we send them to our customers they tell us they would not buy, and it has brought a lot of challenges to us. The eggs can last for only few days.
Poultry farmers who supply the eggs to the sellers have not been spared either.
Some of them have either halted production totally, or have reduced it because after production, they do not get as many people to buy the eggs and the broilers.
Johnson Yeboah, the Owner of Jamboree Farms, located at Watchman in the Sunyani Municipality, also spoke to Citi Business News about the impact of the COVID-19 situation on his colleagues.
“If you are a poultry farmer around this time, you must do a lot of calculations and understand that if you keep your birds for a certain period what would happen. For many farmers, when the disease outbreak started, they decided to dispose off their birds though it was not time.”
Mr. Yeboah, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Sunyani Municipal Poultry Farmers Association, wants government to support players in the industry to sustain their operations particularly after COVID.