Poultry farmers have commended the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for his support for the poultry industry to produce to meet national demands and reduce the heavy dependence on imports.
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana, Mr Boris Baidoo, who gave the commendation on behalf of the farmers, said the sector needed such deliberate policy support from the government to expand its production to meet the local demand for poultry products in order to curtail foreign imports.
He said the sector had the capacity and the ability to bridge the gap between the national demand and production within the next five years, given the necessary support.
Currently, he said, the local industry only produced about five per cent of the local demand for poultry products, and as such the deficit had to be imported.
Annually, he said, the country imported $375 million worth of poultry products, about GH¢2.4 billion, and expressed the belief that if the country were to produce enough, “all this foreign exchange will remain in the country and also drastically reduce the country’s import bill”.
During the President’s recent visit to the Eastern Region, where he visited Akro Farms, a poultry farm under the 1D1F initiative, he promised to tighten the import of poultry products if local production improved.
That, according to Mr Baidoo, who is also the CEO of Boris B. Farms, was “what the local farmers have been praying for, and on behalf of poultry farmers in the region, we wish to commend the President for that”.
He said the sector needed financial support in terms of flexible loans and grants to increase production to feed the national demand.
Mr Baidoo said part of the GH¢500 million facility announced by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) for the poultry industry should be converted into grants to build the capacity of players within the sector.
He said the sector needed a deliberate policy support from the government to expand its production to meet the local demand for poultry products in order to curtail foreign imports.
Mr Baidoo said Boris B. farms had started implementing a project called Poultry and Piggery for Livelihood Improvement in Ghana (PPLIG) to encourage people to venture into the production of poultry and pigs to improve their livelihoods.
Besides, he said, his company, which produced fresh chicken for the local market, was collaborating with other poultry farmers to feed the factory with birds for production.
Mr Baidoo expressed gratitude that the market had accepted products from his farm “and the demand is picking up”.
According to him, the sector could drastically reduce unemployment in the country if it was given the necessary push.
Already, he said, the sector employed more than 5,000 people directly, saying “this number could be tripled if we scale-up production”.
Source: General News