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Feed shortage threatens Ghana’s poultry industry

According to the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association, an acute shortage of feed is threatening the survival of the country’s poultry industry.

Added to this is an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the country.

Ghana’s poultry sector has, for over 2 decades, experienced a steep decline. Photo: Chatnarin Pramnapan
Ghana’s poultry sector has, for over 2 decades, experienced a steep decline. Photo: Chatnarin Pramnapan

“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.

High cost of 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 6,000 ha of farmlands in 2020.

A steep decline inthe poultry sector

Ghana’s poultry sector has, for over 2 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, in recent times, is the high cost or unavailability of maize, reports Business Ghana.

...a collapse of the poultry industry would exacerbate unemployment.

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 cautions that a collapse of the poultry industry would exacerbate unemployment, further negatively impacting the economy.

MOU with feed millers

The president of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAPFA), Michael Nyarko-Ampem, 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.

”...the cost in importing maize is exorbitant...”

The ministry has allowed poultry farmers to import feed, however, poultry farmers say 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 of Food and Agriculture to sign an MOU with feed millers to help address the scarcity of feed and the spike in prices of maize and poultry feed on the market. The 2 associations believe such an MOU will guarantee at least 50% regular supply of the poultry feed.