Editorial : Poultry farmers cry for help

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News about an egg glut has pushed poultry farmers to call on government to take a bold decision and regulate the importation of frozen and other finished poultry products into the country, as 500,000 crates of eggs are waiting to go bad even though players in the sector have slashed their price by some 20 percent.

This is a call being championed by the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association (GNPFA), Women in Poultry Value Chain (WIPVAC), Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAPFA) and the Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS). Members of these four associations in the poultry value chain say they are at their wits’ end and will be forced to lay off their staff and shut down farms, if nothing is done soonest to address their challenge.

According to them, troubles in the tourism, hospitality and education sectors have exposed them to serious operational difficulties, as many of their eggs stay in the farms with no buyers available.

“It is obvious to all of us that the hospitality sector is on its knees; the education sector is under a partial lock down as well, and this has affected the school feeding programme which used lots of eggs. It is a no-brainer that poultry farmers are going to find it difficult during this time of imposed restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country. We are therefore in trouble, big trouble,” the president of WIPVAC, Victoria Norgbey, told the B&FT.

We think it is important for government to listen to the plea of these farmers who have gone through some harsh working conditions, and we must not allow their toil to be in vain.

Players in the sector are therefore reiterating their clarion call for government to intervene. They are asking for some pragmatic directives to ensure the Form Three SHS students who will be resuming school are made to take one egg a day to help reduce the number of eggs that may go waste due to their perishable nature.

They are also asking government take the bold decision to regulate poultry importation so that farmers can move into the broiler business to sustain their operations. They said the regulation should ensure that a minimum of 40 percent of market share will be controlled by local producers, as was the objective under the ‘Broiler Project’ by government that never took off.

This is a plea that must be listened and responded to.

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