Business News of Saturday, 14 February 2015
A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Hannah Bissue has dismissed suggestions that a shortage of poultry products in the country is eminent.
The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers has warned of a possible shortage of poultry products if Government does not release a 39 million cedis support package for the industry.
According to the farmers, they lack the capacity to meet the growing domestic demand following Ghana’s temporary ban on poultry importation from Nigeria and recently from the United States of America.
The ban on poultry products from the United States follows a discovery by scientists that chicken imports coming into Ghana from the US contain arsenic, a poisonous chemical which causes cancer.
Ghana also placed a temporary ban on poultry products from Nigeria as part of efforts to stop the spread of Bird Flu into the country. Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers, Kojo Asante, says their challenge remains processing the birds to meet Ghanaian demand.
“As I speak to you, not a penny of that money has been given to us; so because of that we are finding it difficult to process the chicken we are rearing now. Some are over-aged but are still on the farm”.
Broiler production currently stands at one million birds which he says falls below market requirement to fill the gap.
“The 40% given to Ghanaian farmers to produce by the Ministry of Agric, we need 57 million birds; so if you produce one million birds, it is less than one percent”.
But the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture In-Charge of Livestock disagrees with the predicted shortage. She says plans are far advanced in securing the loan facility for the poultry farmers to boost production. She adds that some alternative means are being put in place in the short to medium term to assist the industry.
“We are looking at an alternative which is not too expensive a processing facility. We are talking to Jfanco to see if we can agree to start something from there whiles we work on this. This is not something that is going to bring a shortage. I think that on the contrary more people are coming onboard”.