Accra,- A looming shortage of poultry products in Ghana will trigger shortages in neighbouring countries as most of them rely on Ghana to augment their local supply.
President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers, Victor Oppong Adjei, said apart from Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire, which were doing very well in poultry farming, most neighbouring countries, according to him were not doing so well in poultry farming.
With an impending delay in the arrival of imported chicken due to disruption in the global supply chain, as hinted by the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, he indicated that the local poultry industry had limited time to make up as it was incapacitated to meet local demand, hence unable to export products to neighbouring West African Countries.
“They don’t have enough products now and they sometimes depend on us, so we have to increase production,” he told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview.
According to the Ghana Poultry Project (GPP), supplies from the United States captured over 40 per cent of the market share, while European countries and Brazil have 25 per cent with local poultry farmers having the opportunity to meet the demand of 35 per cent of the Ghanaian market.
The local poultry farmer, Mr Adjei said he could not to increase production over the years largely due to the cost of inputs especially feed which included maize and Soya.
He said the export of maize as a raw material to other neighbouring countries had contributed to the over 250 per cent price increase of the commodity since last year, forcing some farmers to dispose of their birds prematurely.
“We are just praying that this time around, it will be controlled by the government that we don’t allow people to just come and buy from the market whiles local industries depend on maize as their raw material,” he said.
The situation, he said, was further compounded by the bird flu disease that affected thousands of birds in the country.
Mr Tanko Bagbara, the Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said that the impending delay of chicken imports was a trade issue that was beyond the ministry.
The Ministry has however taken steps to address the concerns of poultry farmers through the initiation of projects such as the Savannah Improvement Programme to encourage people in the northern regions to go into poultry farming, he said.
He also said that a ban was in effect to prevent the export of soya while an inter-ministerial committee had been tasked to investigate the local export of maize which had negatively affected prices of the commodity.
Ms Christiana Danquah, a caterer with 15 years of experience and operator of Foodbank Ghana limited, said the novelty of possible chicken shortage during Christmas did not auger well for her operations.
“Some clients booked my service for the Christmas festivities as far back as February and March. They have paid in full so I cannot give them stories when it is time to deliver. If a shortage happens, it will be very bad for some of us,” she bemoaned
Ms. Dzifa Hukporti, a local food vendor, said disruption in chicken supply during the festive season meant higher cost and less demand hence affecting the job creation avenue within the food industry.
She urged the government to assist local poultry farmers to scale up their operations to meet the local demand for chicken.
Source: Ghana News Agency