The Ghana Poultry Project (GPP) under the auspices of the Ministries of Trade and Industry, Health, Food and Agriculture, and the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) has initiated a nationwide campaign to encourage Ghanaians to patronise more locally produced chicken and also create a sustainable and commercially competitive poultry industry in Ghana.
The campaign dubbed “Eat Ghana Chicken” was launched in Accra yesterday, by the Director of Animal Production at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Kwamina Arkorful.
Mr Arkorful noted that the contribution of a flourishing poultry industry was vital to the national economy in terms of increasing employment, particularly in the rural areas, and providing food for households”.
He said as part of efforts to boost the performance of local poultry in the Ghanaian market, the government is planning to establish poultry processing plants across the country.
The plants, when established, would help local poultry producers to process their products and make them accessible to consumers.
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He said the government was committed to improving local poultry production in the country and added that the discussions with key stakeholders and other partners in the poultry industry were far advanced to acquire the processing facilities to help the local market.
“We, together with the Ghana Association of Poultry Farmers are thinking of how to set up processing infrastructure, because as we speak you don’t know where to get local poultry products,” he observed.
He stressed that it was time for the local producers to make their products accessible, saying, “the imported chickens are processed into convenient pieces for customers.”
“Poultry production is a key driver of the country’s economy and the collective efforts of all stakeholders will help the local poultry to compete with the foreign ones in the market,” he said.
Ms Carianne De Boer, Chief of Party, Ghana Poultry Project, expressed worry about the lack of awareness of the importance of local poultry products; hence, the campaign.
She added that the campaign would focus on increasing the competitiveness of local poultry products on the market.
“We found out that there’s not much awareness and plans for the local poultry sector. Very few people even know about the benefits of the poultry we produce in Ghana.
“We want to make sure that the Ghanaian poultry sector is able to increase its competitiveness in the market because their percentage in the market is very low,” Ms De Boer said.
The Ghana Poultry Project aims at increasing the competitiveness of domestic production and processing of poultry meat and eggs in Ghana. It is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is implemented by ACDI/VOCA and TechnoServe.
Madam Evelyn Agyenim Boateng, the President of Women in Poultry Production, Ashanti Region, appealed to financial institutions to assist the local farmers to promote their products.
Citing financial constraints as a major challenge facing the local poultry industry, Mad Boateng pleaded with the financial institutions to introduce loan offers to local poultry producers with flexible payment conditions to help them expand their production.
“When we produce more, then the economy of scales set in so that the prices can come down for people to afford them.
“We also hope that with this campaign more companies will come on board to produce more chicken and get it everywhere for people to get it,” she said.
She further reiterated the benefits of eating locally produced poultry products, saying, “our chicken is healthier and the taste is better.”
“So why should we be talking about unemployment while we eat imported chicken to make somebody else’s market grow?” she quizzed.