Excessive Poultry Importation Causes Anxiety27 August 2013
GHANA - The increasing importation of poultry products into the country has caught the attention of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
"Government is aware of the challenges facing the poultry industry," said Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture. He described the high level of importation of poultry into the country and high cost of poultry feed as the main challenges facing the local industry.
According to GhanaWeb, as part of measures to address the challenge, the minister said MOFA had since February 2013 been engaging the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association on ways to address the excessive importation of poultry products by improving the administration of permit system. He said the permit system would help to monitor the quality and quantity of imported poultry products that come into the country.
A recent US Department of Agriculture report which reviewed Ghana’s poultry industry for the year 2013 indicated that the nation’s poultry sector had been on the decline and could now handle about 10 per cent of total poultry demand of the country. It said Ghana’s poultry imports increased by 5 per cent from 157,000 MT in 2012 to 165,000 MT in 2013, stating that imports had more than quadrupled since 2002.
The report attributed the situation to the high cost of production, inefficient production methods, limited knowledge of modern poultry management, lack of processing facilities and high cost of energy. Among others, the report indicated the absence of a law to ensure the importation of good quality and disease-free fertile eggs into the country as well as monitor the production of quality day-old chicks from domestic hatcheries.
"We have taken the bull by the horn and devised mechanisms to regulate the amount of poultry into the country," said the minister, when he was asked about the lack of laws to regulate the industry. He said the existing law stipulates that poultry with high level of fats cannot be allowed into the country.
His Ministry, he stated, was currently expediting the formation of a poultry council to regulate the activities of operators in the industry. On the issue of high cost of feed, Mr Humado said the ministry was facilitating the production of soya beans to be used alongside the excess maize being produced in the country in order to reduce production costs.
"Furthermore, the Poultry Farmers Association has acquired their own feed mill and with facilitation from MOFA, soya bean and maize from the National Food Buffer Stock Company would be sourced on agreed terms."
Dr Ahmed Alhassan, Deputy Minister in charge of Crops, but currently the caretaker of the livestock sector, reassured poultry consumers that MOFA would ensure the highest standards were enforced to guarantee the safety of consumers. He said in collaboration with the Food and Drugs Authority, importers would be certified and "if the cold rooms are unwholesome you will lose your license."ThePoultrySite News Desk