The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), has raised red flag about the establishment of the Ghana Broiler Revitalisation Project (GHABROP) two years ago.
According to the association, the government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), is presently running the GHABROP programme without recourse to the document developed to execute the project.
Subsequently the association has challenged MoFA, to publish the document drafted to ensure smooth implementation of the programme.
“Although the programme was aimed at boosting local capacity in the production, processing and marketing of broiler chicken, as partners we have not been aware of any document or policy which has been drafted to execute the project, a situation that resulted in the failure of the pilot phase in Kumasi,” the Vice Chairman of the GNAPF, Mr Napoleon Aqyeman Oduro, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra.
The project which was launched in 2014, is also aimed at developing the poultry industry along the poultry value chain and ensure that production farms, input suppliers, hatcheries, feed mills, veterinary service producers, processors, marketers or cold stores and consumers all play their roles to ensure self-sufficiency in poultry production.
The project which is an initiative of the government through MoFA, in collaboration with the GNAPF, and is expected to run for 10 years.
The target of the project is to produce 30,000 metric tonnes of broiler meat with an expected increase to 60,000 metric tonnes by the year 2016.
The programme is expected to progressively reduce Ghana’s meat import burden to 40 per cent by 2016, increase supply of meat, animal and dairy products of domestic production from the current aggregate level of 30 per cent to 40 per cent of national requirement by 2016.
But two years into the programme, the Vice Chairman of the association indicted that the GHABROP could not even point to a single bird in its name.
“We are really surprised at the manner in which MoFA is running the GHABROP programme because two years into it, we as partners are not aware of any bird in the name of the programme,” he said.
Between 2010 and 2012, alone Ghana imported approximately 200,000 metric tonnes of chicken valued at US$ 200 million.
Failure to recoup investment
Mr Oduro said the pilot stage of the GHABROP programme which was conducted three months after the official launch in the Asante and the Brong Ahafo regions was a total failure, because there had not been guidelines to support the project.
“The financier who was contracted by the government to invest into the project was not able to recoup his investment,” he added.
According to him, the financier invested GH¢ 80 million but was able to recoup GH¢ 2 million from a pilot programme which was conducted in both the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
He, therefore, contested the government’s claim that it has supported poultry farmers in the country, adding that none of its members had received any support from the government, MoFA or the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) as mentioned in the President’s State of the Nation Address.
The President Mr John Dramani Mahama in the 2016 State of the Nation Address said “the poultry industry is one of the sub-sectors receiving major government attention and benefiting from a policy to invest in strategic sectors to produce locally some of the products on which we are currently expending a huge amount of foreign exchange.”
“One year on, we have launched a 20 million Broiler Project with a target to reduce the importation of poultry by 40 per cent at the end of next 2016 and save this economy about US$150 million,” he added.
According to the president, latest statistics show that Ghana has achieved a drop of 30 per cent in poultry imports from US$208.7 million to US$149 million.
“Our poultry farmers are already reaping the benefits associated with the increased demand for their products on the domestic market as a result of this policy” he said.
“The financial support to poultry farmers from the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund is helping them re-organise their businesses and produce to meet local demand. This year, an additional 200 poultry farmers will receive financial support as part of the broiler project,” he added.