Figures gathered by the Business Day show that the demand for imported chicken is expected to rise exponentially to over 198 million US dollars by the close of 2016.
The development, would be largely fueled by the low cost of imported poultry relative to the local chicken which is more expensive.

The situation has created difficulties for local producers who lament over the collapse of the industry, amidst a recent bird flu scare which has also caused a massive fall in the demand of the product.

To prevent a total collapse of the industry, Ghana and the United States government have agreed to help increase poultry feed to local farmers to cut down cost of production.

Speaking to journalists in Accra, the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture of the US, Krysta Harden disclosed that the American government has decided to invest over 56 million dollars in the production of poultry feed to help local farmers compete globally.

She explained that the injection of the money will cause a rippling effect in the value chain of the production of feed, creating over a thousand jobs.

Minister for Agriculture Mr. Fifi Fiavi Kwetey was optimistic the fund will impact positively on local poultry farmers.

“The challenge with the Ghanaian poultry producer is not about quality but pricing”, he said explaining that the cost of poultry production is relatively high due to scarcity of feed.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), Victor Oppong-Adjei has warned that, the country risks losing a vibrant industry that provides employment to many households if the situation is not reversed.

“If we are able to build the local capacity of our poultry farmers, we won’t have to import over 171, 000 metric tons of chicken into the country”, he suggested.

According to him, players in the industry must engage policy-makers and development partners to improve the broiler value chain.

Pointing out some of the measures required to revamp the industry, Mr. Oppong-Adjei stressed the need to reduce the cost of production to allow local producers compete with importers.

“With the current dispensation, even though locally produced poultry may be fresh, frozen and of quality, its price per kilogram is a disincentive for consumers.”

He was of the view that poultry farmers could increase supply from the current 10 percent to 40 percent over the next five years if the right mechanism is put in place to boost production.

“Increasingly, the middle class citizens are increasing demand for local broilers due to awareness creation that have been embarked upon by the association”, he said
He maintained that, the association has already build contacts with some broiler agencies in Europe and America to adopt new trends that increase production at a lower cost.

“The association has established good relations with the United States of America Poultry and Eggs Export Council (USAPEEC) over the past six years, collaborating in programmes to improve the Ghanaian industry”.

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