The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) says prices of feed in Ghana have been increasing rapidly due to the rising cost of corn, making poultry industry players suffer.

According to the Department, the average price of a 100kg bag of white corn in 2011/2012 was GHC75 ($39), up from GHC55 ($28) in 2010/2011.

This was contained in the USDA 2013 report that reviewed Ghana?s poultry industry.

The report titled: ?Ghana Poultry Report Annual 2013′, said Ghana requires over 20,000 metric tonnes of corn for feed production alone to sustain the industry annually.

It said Ghana has about 15 commercial feed mills with a total installed operating capacity of about 1000 MT per day.

However, the report said most feed millers are only producing at about 40-50 percent of their capacity due to low demand from the local poultry industry and are mostly small scale operators.

It said the annual average amount of compound feed produced in Ghana is about 100,000 MT for the past few years, stating that ?poultry feed accounts for about 70 percent of the total feed produced in Ghana?.

The report said the poultry industry consumes nearly 30 percent of all corn produced in Ghana, adding that soybean meal provides a source of protein for poultry feed.

It observed that Ghana?s poultry feed industry has shifted to producing layer feed due to the increase in poultry layer producers.

The report said about 90 percent of feed produced by commercial feed millers is layer feed, adding that broiler feed is mainly purchased by small scale backyard poultry producers because most large scale operators produce their own feed.

However, it contended that there is a seasonal feed demand from the larger producers who raise birds for the festive seasons such as Christmas and Easter.

The report said Ghana requires an estimated 8,000 metric tons of soybean meal in the preparation of poultry feed, adding that the inclusion level of soybean meal ranges from 10 to 18 percent of the feed ration for layers and 15 to 25 percent for broilers.

It noted that controlling animal feed costs is critical in the industry since it represents approximately 82 percent of the variable production cost.

For this reason, it said feed manufacturers are switching to low cost substitutes such as palm-kernel cake, groundnut cake, fish meal, and by-products of agro-processing.

By Cephas Larbi


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