President Pledges Adequate Funding to Poultry Farmers07 May 2014
GHANA - President John Dramani Mahama has promised to work out adequate funding and credit facilities for poultry farmers throughout the country to make Ghana a net exporter of poultry products in the coming years.
He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDAIF) were rolling out measures that would adequately support poultry and other farmers to increase production and make Ghana self-sufficient.
GhanaWeb reports that President Mahama made this promise when he visited Akate Farms, the largest poultry farm in Ghana at Bososre in the Kwabre East district, as part of his three-day official visit to the Ashanti Region.
Akate Farms, which has branches in Wamase and Akyaese both in the Ashanti region, has 200,000 birds and produces 9,000 crates of eggs a day, with a hatchery that produces 80,000 chicks per day.
The farm, which has a workforce of 500, also produces 5,000 day old guinea fowls, 100 tons of feed per day, and has external markets in Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin.
In his state of the nation address early this year, President Mahama expressed worry about the high importation of poultry, tomatoes, oil, rice and other major commodities that Ghana has a comparative advantage to produce.
In a bid to reduce that, President Mahama said a reduction in the imports of chicken and poultry feeds would help in the stabilization of the cedi, and promised to do everything in his power to provide sufficient support to farmers to achieve that goal.
He said he was impressed with Akate Farms that had been able to survive in the face of stiff competition from importers, adding, “If we have our own companies that are performing well like Akate farms, why can’t we support them to survive”?
Hannah Bissiw, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, in charge of Livestock, said her outfit was working out a modality to compel importers to purchase 30 percent of their products from local companies.
She added that the provision of permits for the importation of chicken and poultry feeds would be hinged on that condition to provide ready markets for local companies.
Alhaji Abdul Sallam Akate, Chief Executive officer of Akate Farms, commended President Mahama for taking the initiative to visit his farms.
He appealed to the government to subsidize electricity tariffs and access roads to enhance their effective performance.
'Govt support to poultry industry increasing,' Says Mahama
The President said the government is increasing support to the poultry industry to enable farmers not only to produce to meet local demand but also to push the country to become a net exporter of poultry products in the nearest future.
Ghana, he said, currently spends about $270 million annually to import poultry products, which was unacceptable.
He commended Akate Farms for the tremendous work it was doing saying it was in line with the government's vision to push for the patronage of made- in-Ghana goods.
According to GhanaWeb, the President promised to get the Roads Ministry to fix the road leading to the farms.
Ms Bissiw said the poultry industry was being revived under President Mahama.
Today, she said, the laws on importation of poultry products had been reviewed, which had resulted in a drop in import figures.
Ms Bissiw said some financial institutions were supporting the broiler project initiated by the government to help increase local production, with the first batch of 20 farmers ready to receive their financial support in the next two weeks.
She said under the project, before one would be given the licence to import frozen poultry products, one must show evidence that the quantity he or she wanted to import could not be obtained in Ghana at that particular moment.
Again, an importer of frozen poultry products must procure 40 per cent of the quantity he was importing locally before given the licence to import.
Mr Akate was highly appreciative of the visit from the President and said it demonstrated his commitment to the development of the poultry industry.
The National President of the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Kwadwo Asante, said the commitment of the President to the poultry industry was real and urged him to continue to do his best for the industry.ThePoultrySite News Desk