Poultry farmers lament gov’t’s empty promises

The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) says the poultry industry is currently at a crossroad following government’s ‘failure’ to fulfil a series of promises: such as financial support and implementation of a binding regulatory policy to transform the industry.

According to the Association, government has still not fulfilled any of its promises with regard to stimulus packages for poultry farmers, thus leaving them to their fate. The farmers made particular reference to Ghana Broiler Revitalization Project (GHABROP) that was launched by government in July 2014.

The farmers said government was expected to inject about US$39million into the industry to help boost local capacity in the areas of production, processing and marketing of broiler chicken in order to cut down imports of frozen chicken by 40 percent. But they said not even a single bird has been added to Ghana’s broiler stock since the project was launched.

They have therefore attributed government’s continuous lip-service support to the poultry industry to lack of a binding national framework that offers the needed policy direction. This, they noted, fortifies government’s unenthusiastic spirit in advancing support to the industry.

The farmers raised these concerns at a sensitisation workshop held at Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Brong-Ahafo Region. The workshop was organised by the national executives of the Association in collaboration with BUSAC to canvass for farmers’ support in that part of the country to push for a national binding policy to streamline poultry industry so as to give players the necessary support to grow the business.

The National Chairman of GNAPF, Victor Oppong Agyei, in an address said many farms are on the brink of folding-up as a result of the worsening business environment. He mentioned the unabated influx of frozen chicken, astronomical cost of production — especially prices of inputs, lack of financial support, and elusiveness of modern technologies.

He stated that the current domestic broiler production represents only 5 percent of broiler chicken consumption in the country — and should the government walk the talk to boost local production to about 40 percent, about 60 million birds, as promised there will be massive job opportunities and other economic benefits.

He lamented: “An industry that has a huge potential to aid the desired transformation of our economy could soon grind to a halt. Poultry is a key economic element in some jurisdictions like the USA, where it employs about 1.3 million people and generated close to US$469billion in 2014. It’s now crucial for us to change the status quo in this country so as to save the sinking poultry industry”.

Napoleon Oduro, Vice Chairman of the Association, said government had promised to establish ten poultry processing plants across the country: of which four were expected to be ready in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Greater Accra Regions by the end of 2015, but they are yet to witness any development of that sort.poultry feed

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