Accra, March 25, GNA – Poultry farmers in Brong Ahafo and the three Northern regions would soon be hooked to the Ghana National Broiler Revitalization Project (GHABROP) to increase locally produced poultry products.
To that effect, the Omanhene of the Dua Nkwanta traditional area, Nana Boakye Tromo III, had given more than 100 acres of land to a Ghanaian investor to situate an ultra-modern processing plant to serve players in Brong Ahafo and the three regions of the North.
Dr Hannah Louisa Bissiw, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, in charge of Livestock, announced this on Wednesday at the launch of Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) Advocacy to Document Policy in Accra.
The GNAPF had support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) to embark on advocacy on National Broiler revitalization project for Import Substitution.
The advocacy programme would include training and capacity building for members on the document policies to boost the industry and membership drive.
Dr Bissiw said the project would create thousands of jobs for the people and urged all Chiefs to emulate the gesture.
She also called on private investors to invest in the poultry industry, which, she said, had an extended opportunities along the value chain for employment, increased family incomes, and economic growth.
The GHABROP project was launched in July 2014 to boost local capacity in the production, processing and marketing of broiler chicken in the country.
It would also develop the poultry industry along the poultry value chain and ensure that production farms, input suppliers, hatcheries, feed mills, veterinary service producers, processors, marketers/cold stores and consumers all play their roles to ensure self-sufficiency.
The project was an initiative of the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), in collaboration with the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), which would run for 10 years.
Dr Bissiw said Government had come out clearly on the policy direction of creating 40 per cent space for locally produced broiler meat in the country and to assure farmers of its resolve.
Government is taking steps to ensure that the policy was fortified in the draft veterinary legislation, which is in the process of being passed through all the stages of the legal process.
She commended GNAPF for being part of the process and urged them to continue their contribution to the draft veterinary bill, especially when it is laid before Parliament.
Mr Victor Oppong Adjei, a member of the National Executive Committee of GNAPF, said Ghana was self-sufficient in poultry until the late 1980s when the country adopted the free Trade Policy without any strategy to protect its local industries, therefore the industry began to lose market to imported frozen chicken at a very fast rate.
‘The nation lost more than 70 per cent of the domestic chicken meat to imports in the late 1990s, increasing further to an estimated 90 per cent by the year 2013.
‘Today, I can confidently say that production of local chicken meat is just five per cent, having lost 95 per cent to imports, resulting in a number of poultry farms and other poultry ventures in the value chain, especially feed mills and hatcheries either collapsing or operating under capacity, therefore making investments in the poultry business unattractive and uncompetitive to provide any meaningful employment that it has the potential to create,’ he added.
He said efforts was made to reverse the declining trend of the industry by engaging with successive governments but little was achieved due to lack of sustainable advocacy pressure and insufficient funds on the part of the Association.
Mr Adjei said the GNAPF identified a disconnection between research, extension service and production, which need to be collaborative to keep the value chain properly integrated.
‘The research centres and tertiary institutions in the country have what it takes to improve some aspect of the value chain; for example, KNUST, has a hatchery specialist, breeders and production experts, yet the industry lacks good quality chicks, and is saddled with high feed cost, ‘he said.
He commended BUSAC for their continuous support.
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