The La-Nkwantang Madina Municipal Assembly is to start a programme to promote backyard peri-urban agricultural farming as part of an initiative to encourage the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ campaign across the municipality.
It explained that the programme was an initiative designed to encourage residents in the municipality to take up farming as a serious activity to ensure food security in the country.
“As a municipality, agriculture is an area that we are equally interested in and we will be partnering with other stakeholders to ensure the sector gets the needed support,” the District Director of Agriculture of the assembly, Mr Kodwo Fyn, told the Graphic Business on the sidelines of a farm visit event over the weekend in Accra.
Ghana Poultry Project
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It was at the Cost Effective Pilot Broiler Production Demonstration site visit at Amas Farms located in Oyarifa, a suburb of Accra, which was under the Ghana Poultry Project (GPP).
The GPP, unveiled in 2015, is expected to be implemented over a five-year period would increase the competitiveness of domestic production and processing of poultry meat and eggs in the country.
In response to calls to find more cost-efficient and effective methods to broiler production in the country, Ghana Poultry Project together with its collaborators begun the implementation of the Cost Effective Broiler Production in the country.
The Value Chain Team Leader of the project, Mr Kweku B. Tuoho, said the long term goal of the project was to expand the production base of broiler production across the country.
“Specific objectives of the demonstration are to ascertain the influence of best management practices on performance of the DOCs to produce broilers at an average of 2.50 kilogram live weight per bird within six weeks; to produce broilers at competitive price that can generate more market using Ghanaian formulated poultry feed,” he added.
Mr Tuoho said the United States Department of Agriculture-sponsored Ghana Poultry Project intends to increase targeted sector commercial performance by building coordination between firms in the country.
That, he said would be done through promoting the adoption of quality standards, strengthening business planning and market-penetration strategies, and reinforcing buyer-supplier linkages.
“For nearly a decade, the Ghana poultry sector has contracted as a result of intense competition from imported poultry meat and the decreasing profitability of egg production,” he said.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), for example states that domestically produced broiler meat has fallen from nearly 60 per cent of all poultry consumed in Ghana in 2000 to 20 per cent in 2011.
At the same time, imports have increased from 13,900 metric tonnes (MT) to over 155,000 MT. The 2013 Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) estimates the 2012 domestic market share of broiler meat at 10 percent of national consumption.
This is the result, from 2000 onward, of many poultry producers focusing more on egg production, with production increasing from roughly five million eggs in 2000 to 10.9 million eggs in 2011 (FAO), though presently egg sales have significantly slowed.
The high cost of quality blended feeds that represent more than 60 per cent of total production costs and inefficient feed management practices are largely responsible for the high production costs of poultry products.
Support for project
For his part, the Chairman of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Eddie Vinorkor, pledged the support of the association to ensure a successful implementation of Ghana Poultry Project.
According to him, the ailing poultry industry needs such projects which will support farmers with business development training and technical services to help them to thrive.
He observed that inasmuch as poultry farming was considered a risky area, it could not be left unattended to because it would continue to be the source of meat production in the country. — GB