The Poultry Farmers Association is urging government to honour its promise of providing day old chicks for farmers at an affordable cost.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, last week announced that it will gradually reduce the importation of chicken as it introduces the Broiler Revitalization Project.
The project is aimed at providing Ghana’s poultry industry with four million-day-old chicks annually for five years.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the Vice President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko Ampem, said he is hopeful poultry import will decrease if government honours the pledge to provide the chicks on time.
He added that it is important to provide the chicks on time to help meet important timelines when chicken is in high demand.
“If all the parties honour their part, there wouldn’t be any failure on the part of the farmers,” he said.
He pointed out that the move will help reduce the cost of production in the poultry business since it is the bane of farmers.
“If the imported chicks from Europe cost the same as we have here, and the cost of feeding them, per unit is even more expensive in Europe than in Ghana, yet frozen chicken imported in Ghana costs less then we must focus on the cost of production”
Mr. Nyarko Ampem argued that the cost of imported chicken should have been higher but due to subsidies provided by governments of the foreign countries, the cost is made affordable making it difficult for Ghanaian farmers to compete.
“The processes that they go through to slaughter and put it in the fridge and bring it to Ghana, pay port and cold room charges, and it is still cheaper than the ones here, it means that something is being done to the price of the birds”, he stressed.
The move, according to the Food and Agric Ministry, is a work in progress towards bringing an end to the importation of foreign poultry products into the country.
The chicks would be produced in five cycles with each cycle producing four million chicks per year.
The chicks, according to the Ministry, would be distributed to selected poultry farmers nationwide, with a pilot of the first phase scheduled to begin this year.
Already, six districts in the Greater Accra Region have started taking part in the Broiler Revitalization Project.
Ghana’s annual potential production capacity is estimated at 4.4 million birds.
However, a reported high cost of poultry feed and low importation cost for foreign poultry, have over the years had adverse effects on domestic production.
It is expected that poultry farmers across the country will take advantage of the project to expand their operations.
Currently, the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association is producing about 600,000 bags of 45kgs of broiler feed annually.
With the project coming on board, feed production is expected to increase.
by Lawrence Segbefia