Source: Ben LARYEA
The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association has appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to address the acute shortage and the rising cost of poultry feed such as soyabean meal, maize, wheat bran, among others saying the said raw materials have increased astronomically forcing poultry farmers out of jobs.
“Many poultry farmers have closed and folded up their operations as others are gradually reducing their number of birds”, it stated.
According to the Association, poultry farmers have gone through challenges as a result of the smuggle of poultry feed to neighbouring countries and the current cedi-dollar performance pointing out that a bag of soyabean meal is selling above Ghc 440.00 making it difficult to purchase for poultry purposes.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association, Mr. Isaac Awuzah at a news conference in Accra said the industry is going through tough times and therefore called on government to come to the aid of poultry farmers to save the industry from total collapse.
He said information reaching the Association indicates that foreigners are engaging in clandestine activities in buying the raw materials and transporting them to their home countries and rebrand them and do a “u turn” and resell the feed at exorbitant prices, adding that the said nefarious activities had the support from unscrupulous Ghanaians.
“The Association have expressed worry about the turn of events”, he charged and explained that this has led to a frequent halt in the production of feed and thus called on government to engage the importers of soya and producers of palm oil to put their acts collectively together to save the local poultry farmers.
The Vice President of the Association, Mr. Kwame Ntim Duodu said the problems are quite disturbing and have led to massive reduction of farm capacities resulting in several hundreds of job losses in the poultry value chain and was quick to state that government must take urgent steps to fix the problems to avert the rising increase of poultry products from abroad.
“The Association is however pleading with government to use its buffer stock machinery to import the soyabean meal for members to purchase at affordable price”, he said and pleaded further that the Association do not have the resources in the capacity to import the product in commercial quantities.
Consequently, the Association is urging government to review aspects of the planting for food policies and programmes to bring to bear adequate maize, soyabean and other poultry inputs on the market for easy access to farmers.
In other development, the GAPFA as part of the activities to mark this year’s “World Egg Day”, the Association donated hundreds of cooked eggs to Emmanuel Presbyterian Preparatory and JHS pupils at Dansoman in the Greater Accra Region in the bid to create more awareness on the nutritious values of eggs.
The Headmistress of the school, Madam Juliet Akua Eshun, expressed her gratitude to the Association for the kind gesture saying eggs contain a good source of protein for human growth and development and urged others to emulate the shining example of the Association.