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View Full Version : Poultry farmers cry foul



ajbabe
5th January 2012, 04:21 PM
Poultry farmers in the country are crying foul at what they termed the virtual neglect of players in the industry.

According to the Central Regional Best Farmer for 2006, Mr Oteng Asamoah, the government has removed subsidies meant for the sector, a situation he said was making it difficult for the farmers to continue with the trade.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, he enumerated a number of challenges that the farmers faced and asked the government to show more commitment towards the sector.

Mr Asamoah said drugs for the birds, which were purchased from the Veterinary Department (VET) under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), were now being imported by private business people and were being sold at commercial prices.

“We used to go to the VET to buy these drugs for the birds at subsidized prices but this is no more”, he said.

Mr Asamaoh, who is the owner of Ottenberg Enterprise, said VET had also stopped offering extension services to poultry farmers.

“I was able to get a lot of technical advise on how to raise the birds and handle them from VET extension service personnel and that made me win the best farmer prize at Agona in 2005 and the Central Regional Best farmer in 2006”, he said.

He regretted that such technical services were no more; a situation which he said was having a serious impact on the work of poultry farmers across the country.

Mr Asamoah also raised the issue with the high cost of poultry feed for the birds, which he said, was uncompetitive.

“The poultry farmers are now buying maize on the market at prices same as the market women who use them for ‘kenkey’ among others”, he said.

To him, the high demand for the maize has affected the prices, which is highly unattractive to poultry farmers because “after we buy at such high prices, we are forced to pass on the cost to customers who buy our birds”.

Mr Asamoah said the bank purposely meant to support poultry farmers; the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), has shied away from poultry farmers because the bank see the industry as too risky.

“Poultry farmers are not able to get soft loans from the bank anymore and that is also affecting us badly” he said.

He said competition from imported frozen birds was also a major factor that poultry farmers have to contend with.

Mr Asamoah said much as people cherished live birds for festivities, the cost drives them away and they resort to the imported products.

Asked whether the Ghanaian poultry farmer could supply enough to meet local demand, he replied in the affirmative, saying” if we have all the support from the government, we will feed the nation and even export”.

Mr Asamoah said many big players in the industry have all left and are now in real estate or road construction sectors.

He said those we employed as farmhands have been laid off and that is adding to the serious unemployment problem in the country.

Mr Asamoah asked the government to show greater commitment to the poultry industry to save it from total collapse.