August 3, 2021

 

Ghana's poultry industry in peril due to feed shortage

 

 

A serious shortage of feed could significantly cripple Ghana's poultry industry, according to the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association.

 

Ghana is also dealing with an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

 

"All poultry farms in Ghana are on the verge of collapse if no drastic measures are taken by the government […] to sustain the industry," the chairman of the association, Isaac Essiaw, told Xinhua, adding that the high cost of feed was mainly due to the increasing price of maize, which constitutes a significant portion of poultry feed.

 

Furthermore, the prices of other feed ingredients, including wheat bran, have also increased, which he attributes to the uncharacteristic low rainfall during the 2021 season.

 

This comes after Poultry World reported that the high cost of maize, soybeans and other poultry feed ingredients had already caused the price of eggs in the Bono Region of Ghana, a hub for egg production, to rise by about 50% earlier this year. Exacerbating the situation further was a flood that destroyed nearly 6,000ha of farmlands in 2020.

 

Ghana's poultry sector has, for over two decades, experienced a steep decline with many commercial poultry farms that were established in the late 1960s and early 1970s having collapsed or are on the verge of collapsing. The reasons for this development is the high cost or unavailability of maize, reported Business Ghana.

 

The Ghana Poultry Farmers Association has held discussions with the Ghanaian government and other stakeholders to explore ways of dealing with the challenges. Meanwhile, the association cautioned that a collapse of the poultry industry would exacerbate unemployment, further negatively impacting the economy.

 

Michael Nyarko-Ampem, the president of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAPFA), said the government needs to help to save over 1,000 businesses from collapsing, noting that the industry is currently experiencing intermittent shutdowns but that a total shutdown is looming.

 

"GAPFA alone has about 1,775 farmers, and we cannot have a situation where people whose businesses are just poultry farming would have their businesses collapsing," he told CitiNews.

 

Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture has allowed poultry farmers to import feed. However, poultry farmers said the cost in importing maize is exorbitant compared to buying on the local market.

 

GAFA and the Ghana Feedmillers Association are therefore calling on the ministry to sign a memorandum of understanding with feed millers to help address the scarcity of feed and the spike in prices of maize and poultry feed on the market. Both associations believe such an MoU will guarantee at least 50% regular supply of the poultry feed.

 

- Poultry World