Some poultry farmers in the Ashanti region are lamenting the high cost of inputs, which they say is negatively affecting their businesses.
They complain the problem has been worsened over the last few months by the continuous depreciation of the cedi.
“The issue of the dollar going up too is a big issue. A local soya that cost 75 cedis per bag as at March now costs 120 cedis; concentrate that was about 140 cedis is now 210 cedis; wheat brand was 11, it’s now 18; and imagine I am using about 10 bags just for a tonne of feed. So you go into the business with a budget, but half way, you can’t keep on going”, one of the farmers told Joy News Joseph Opoku Gakpo who visited his farm at Wiamoase.
The situation is forcing a lot of farmers out of business. But the problem is not new. In the early 1990’s, about 95 percent of Ghana’s consumed poultry was produced locally. But a large number of the local farms have collapsed.
Currently, less than 10 percent of poultry consumed in Ghana is produced locally. The nation spent 169 million dollars on the importation of poultry products in 2013 alone.
The farmers also complain about lack of government support.
“What we are doing is more preventive than curative. Because once something sets in, it can sweep the whole flock. But there is nothing like government relief or support system to cushion us. If we fail, we fail on our own,” a farmer lamented.
Lack of financing, high interest rates on loans, disease attacks, lower cost of imported products, absence of processing factories, and most importantly, lack of government support and subsidy are some of the challenges the farmers spoke about.
The farmers want government to scrap taxes on the inputs as a way to cushion them from the effect of the depreciating dollar.
“I think government should ward off taxes on some of the inputs. Soya is imported, concentrate is imported, even the maize that I am giving to the chicken is imported from Ukraine. So taxes on all these things is helping the price to go up”, he said.
They believe this is the only way government can keep the industry alive.
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