The Ranking Member on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee in Parliament, Eric Opoku, has urged government to as a matter of urgency address challenges currently facing poultry farmers in the country, regarding access to feed for their chicken.
According to the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAFA) the country’s poultry, industry risks collapse if the government fails to swiftly deal with the recent challenge of unavailability of feed for poultry production.
A study on the poultry feed sector in Ghana by the International Food Policy Research Institute, maize accounted for 60 percent of poultry feed. Thus, its availability and price have implications for the profitability and growth potential of the industry.
In June 2020, a 50kg bag of maize was selling for GHS65. Fast Forward to November 2020, the price for the same commodity shot up to GHS100 and in June 2021, the same commodity at the same weight is being sold for GHS130.
In a media interview, Mr. Opoku said the country is simply not producing enough maize to meet local demand.
“In fact, when you look at what is happening it simply means that we have run short, and we don’t have enough maize on the ground. That is why the price of maize is going up, and that is why the poultry farmers are not getting maize to feed their poultry. So the point is that why is it that, after claiming we have produced in excess of demand, we still have situations like this emerging? It simply means that we are not being candid with the reality, and we are engaging in agricultural propaganda instead of doing proper agriculture.”
Mr. Eric Opoku further called on the Ministry of Agriculture to strategically dedicate enough attention to the sector to resolve its issues once and for all.
“This issue about poultry farmers did not start today. You recall in 2017 it was there, in 2018 it came up, at some point, they said that they should go to the Buffer Stock Company and other places leading to complaints. So it keeps on reoccurring and has become like a ritual. So why is it that we are unable to deal with it, knowing very well that the poultry sector has the potential of creating jobs, increasing incomes and getting our people out of poverty? Why is it that the Ministry of Agriculture cannot give them the attention that they deserve in order to use that sector to transform Agriculture in the country? Why can’t we be strategic a bit to address this situation once and for all?”
Poultry industry risks collapse due to shortage of maize – GAFA
The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAFA), fears Ghana’s poultry industry risks collapse if the government fails to swiftly deal with recent challenges of feed for poultry.
GAFA made the remark following challenges faced by poultry farmers across the country to access feed for the industry.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the development, the president of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko Ampem, said there is a looming danger if the challenges are not addressed.
“We do not have the cereals such as maize, soya and the wheat brand available to work. So, we are having intermittent shutdowns and what we see is that there is a looming total shutdown, and we want to avert that because GAFA alone has about 1,775 farmers, and we cannot have a situation where people whose businesses are just poultry farming would have their business collapsing.”
“The way forward is that we are ready to sign MoUs with people or business people who are ready to bring in the maize and make it available for us. This is because the truth is that, the wheat brand is unavailable, and it’s also expensive, so the feed millers should have an MoU. We are not saying that they should give everything to us, but we should have an understanding so that a certain percentage of our consumption is given to us so that when that is given to us then we are sure that we will be in business, and we will go through this crisis very well,’ he said.