Poultry farmers across the country have expressed hope in the 2018 budget read by the finance minister Mr. Ken Ofori Atta. According to them, the 2018 budget promises good fortunes to the poultry industry, revive the sector and cut down on importation of frozen chicken into the country.
The Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, in the budget statement earlier last week disclosed that 2,000 livestock farmers will be supported with 70,000 small ruminants, sheep and goats, as part of efforts to improve the livelihoods of livestock farmers in the country.
In addition to this, he said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) will support six National Livestock Breeding Stations to produce and distribute 200 crossbreed heifers, 1,700 improved pigs, and 100,000 cockerels.
Speaking to the vice chairman of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers, Mr. Napoleon Agyeman Oduro on Rite News, he credited the recognition of the poultry farmers by the finance minister to prior discussions the association held with the agric ministry.
“The association has had many discussions with the government and the Ministry Of Food And Agriculture to voice out their challenges before the reading of the budget and we believe that this has yielded the much desired fruits,” he asserted.
He said Ghana spent USD 300 million annually to import frozen chicken into the country, an amount he argued could have been used for various developmental projects to turn the fortune of the country around.
He added that handling the issue of imported frozen chicken needs more than just a policy to curb it but drastic measures are needed to improve the production, storage and marketing of their product.
Mr. Agyeman Oduro also expressed optimism in government’s intention to improve industrialization through the one district, one factory policy.
“Government’s intention to improve industrialization through the one district, one factory policy will favour poultry farmers as they will also process their slaughtered chicken and keep it safe to avoid losses,” he said.
He also identified processing as the major challenge confronting the industry.
“As poultry farmers, our major challenge is processing because marketing our meat is problematic and through that we have lost huge sums of monies invested into our farms,” he lamented.
He regretted the fact that previous budgets did not favour the poultry industry which therefore made their work unattractive and a very risky project to venture into and therefore described the government’s efforts to address these challenges as “good news and a move in the right direction.”
Mr. Agyeman Oduro therefore urged poultry farmers to put in place efforts to ensure that policies that favor poultry farmers are addressed to cut down importation of poultry products which is a threat to their industry.
Africa’s love for poultry meat and eggs has grown at a staggering pace. Every year, the continent imports more than two million metric tons of poultry products valued at nearly US$3 billion to meet domestic demand.
In 2012 alone, more than five million tons of poultry meat and two million tons of eggs were consumed in Africa. Africa’s love for chicken and eggs is increasing with the size of its rapidly growing population.
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