A leading European producer and supplier of animal feed concentrates, Intraco Limited and its partners, have expressed their desire to help develop the local poultry sector to make the country self-sufficient in poultry production.
The Belgian company is specialised in the development of individual country poultry sectors, based on local available raw materials and existing technical infrastructure – while its nutritionists work out premixes/concentrates to meet specific feed requirements and also support farmers with ‘complete’ diet solutions.
This came to light during a sensitisation workshop held in Sunyani for farmers. The workshop, was organised by Fontanaba Limited—a local distributor of poultry inputs – and was also used to launch the animal feed concentrates and poultry technology of Intraco and Poultec Poultry Technology respectively. Similar exercise were carried out in Kumasi and Dormaa-Ahenkro.
The Sales Manager of Intraco, Steven Van Caekenberghe, said the company was fascinated by the huge potential of the country’s poultry sector – both the layers and broilers sub-sectors – and therefore committed to help with tailor-made concentrates to cushion Ghanaian poultry to thrive, in order to reduce the huge import bill for frozen chicken.
He however identified relatively high cost of maize, particularly the yellow one, in the country as a challenge to the sector as it eventually balloons cost of feed production – which constitutes the bulk of the entire poultry production cost, thus making local farmers less competitive.
The situation, he indicated, is the result of aflatoxines infestation and Fall Armyworm attacks on maize. He stressed the need for duty-bearers to adopt more prudent and innovative mechanisms that make the production and preservation of locally-produced maize more competitive so as to ease the financial burden of poultry farmers.
“There is no standard solution for the optimal feeding of the livestock: its needs are largely determined by the local climatic conditions, availability of raw materials, local prices and infrastructure,” he said.
The Middle East Africa Area Sales Manager, Poultec N.V, Eng. Wadih Kai, in an interview with B&FT said the company is ready to assist local production with state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure so as to transform the sector into an automated system of farming.
“We are positioned to support Ghanaian farmers with automatic feeding, drinking and ventilation control technology. There’s also eggs’ collection technology to reduce breakages and a manure removing system. With such technologies installed, one person can man an about-80,000 bird capacity farm. This is what farmers need to be able to efficiently venture into large scale farming,” he stated.
Protection for the local poultry sector
The CEO of Fontanaba Limited, Rockson Ayim, urged government to be firm and impose a complete ban on the importation of frozen chicken from highly subsidised economies. He was of the view that the ban will create an artificial shortage which will lure farmers to increase production to meet the yawning market demand as well as create more opportunities for prospective players, adding: “Cote I’dvoire has successfully done this, so we can also replicate it here to protect the local poultry sector”.
Mr. Ayim further called on government to devise more flexible financial support schemes to assist poultry farmers, as the prevailing loan systems are inimical to achievement of the country’s poultry full potential. He also advocated the training and posting of more veterinary officers to help farmers.
The Chairman of Sunyani Poultry Farmers Association, Charles Korang, on his part advised farmers to reposition themselves by adhering to best farming practices so as to remain competitive. “If we keep our farms in order and observe proper records-keeping, the business will be attractive for financial institutions and other investors to offer us the needed support,” he said.