Poultry farmers in the Dormaa Municipality have appealed to government to subsidise imported poultry feeds to save the industry.
Speaking on behalf of members, Dei Kusi, Chairman of the Dormaa Poultry Farmers Association, said the industry was on the verge of collapse because of high taxes on imported feeds like soya and concentrates as well as the rising cost of maize in the municipality.
He said the industry provided jobs for more than 7,000 young people, in addition to the 200 poultry farmers in the area, saying it would be suicidal if immediate measures were not introduced to salvage the industry.
Mr Kusi made the appeal when Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, met the members of the Association at Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Bono Region.
He further urged the government to rehabilitate a poultry laboratory set up by former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s government.
Mr Kusi said the Dormaa Municipality produced one-third of eggs to feed the nation’s population and expressed the hope that the government would intervene to save the industry.
“We don’t get profits but we still pay taxes,” he said and called for tax holidays until the poultry industry in the area was revived.
Dr Joachim Darko, the Bono Regional Director of the Veterinary Services Department, said more than 42,000 birds had been destroyed due to the outbreak of the Bird flu in the Sunyani West Municipality.
In addition, he said, 4,000 crates of eggs and quantities of feed had been destroyed from the 11 farms, which had been affected by the flu since January 13.
Dr. Darko advised the poultry farmers to report suspected cases to prevent the flu from infesting their birds and spreading to other farms.
Owusu-Banahene gave assurance of the government’s support to revive the poultry industry and commended the poultry farmers for their contributions to the growth of the local economy.
She said issues concerning poultry production were paramount to the government, saying the Regional Coordinating Council had set up an emergency committee to intensify surveillance to help prevent the spread of the Bird Flu in the region.
Owusu-Banahene advised poultry farmers who were yet to register with the Association to do so for their own interest.
During an open forum, the poultry farmers implored the government to build irrigation facilities to motivate maize farmers to expand their farms and improve productivity.