Mr Richmond Frimpong, President of GARDJA
Mr Richmond Frimpong, President of GARDJA

Agric journalists petition government to address poultry production challenges

The Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA) has petitioned the government to, as a matter of urgency, institute measures to address the myriad of challenges facing local poultry production.

It corroborated the complaint by poultry farmers and feed producers as carried by the Daily Graphic on Tuesday, July 11, 2021 that the cost of feed, which constituted about 70 per cent of production, had gone up drastically.

“The cost of other inputs, including medication for the birds, is unreasonably high. High cost of energy is another big problem for local producers. And when they manage to sail through the challenges, poultry producers struggle to get market for their produce because imports are cheaper,” it said in a media release.  

GARDJA said the quantity of poultry imported into the country had, thus, increased and that Ghana currently spent an estimated US$380 million (more than GH¢2 billion) to import poultry meat annually.

“The main reason for the huge imports beyond increasing demand is the struggling domestic commercial poultry meat production sector. It’s no longer profitable producing poultry products in the country because it ends up being highly expensive, whilst imports cost far less,” it said.

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Recognition

It commended the government for setting an ambitious target to invest in the poultry sector and to reduce imports through the “Rearing for Food and Jobs” initiative, but said more drastic actions were still needed to save the sector.  

“We obviously need increased government investments in the sector to produce better quality day-old chicks and other inputs. We need subsidies on feed and better processing and marketing facilities. We also need stability in electricity supply to production centres at lower costs,” it suggested.

The GARDJA proposed that government should act quickly to immediately restrict the importation of poultry into the country.

“A cap should be placed on the importation of frozen chicken into the country. All stakeholders engaged in poultry imports such as cold store operators, hotels and restaurants should be given a quota to ensure they purchase at least 60 per cent locally and only import 40 per cent,” it said.

Also, it said there should be a national campaign similar to the Ghana rice campaign that was rolled out recently to encourage the consumption of local poultry products.

“There should also be increased support for value addition to the poultry sector so a lot of it can be processed into nuggets, sausages, among others, for the benefit of the local market,” it added.

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