- About 1,000 jobs lost
Over 250 pig farms in the Ashanti Region have been forced to close down due to escalating cost of production, said chairman for the Pig Farmers Association in the Ashanti Region, Gyabil Ambrose.
According to him, cost of feed has increased more than 100 percent since beginning of the year; a situation that has become unbearable, especially when there is no hope in sight that prices will become stable – given inflation is now 33.9 percent.
This, he said, has resulted in the closure of some 250 piggeries as most farmers are unbale to break-even let alone make profit – thereby leading to about 1,000 job-losses with many still on the line should the situation continue to end of the year, which is likely.
“Concentrate was sold at GH₵145 per bag [at beginning of the year], but the same concentrate is now selling at GH₵370 and still increasing by the day. Soybeans have become very scarce; we can’t even get some to buy. So, we are now relying on imported soya beans and the price is very high. That is pushing a lot of people out of business. Even though some of us are innovating by bringing in other products like groundnut husk, which is cheaper, others are finding it difficult.
“Currently, we can talk about 250 farms which have folded-up. Some are selling their farms because of fluctuation in the price of ingredients. Ashanti commands over 2,000 pig farmers, and if 250 have folded-up then it’s serious,” Mr. Ambrose told the B&FT.
He further stated that the increasing cost of production has pushed farmers to increase the price of pork, as they cannot bear the cost alone. So now, he said, a kilogramme of live pig which hitherto was sold at GH₵15 now sells at GH₵18, whereas the fresh and dressed pork sells at GH₵28.
Mr. Ambrose again decried the fact that challenges facing pig farmers are discouraging youth who were previously showing some enthusiasm and interest in venturing into it pig farming.
He, therefore, called on government to put in measures that cushion the farmers, especially on the availability and price of feed which is their number-one challenge.
“The younger ones who have developed interest in the industry are virtually becoming discouraged due to unstable prices of feed, and other production costs not being able to match up with prices on the market. They feel they won’t be able to break-even,” he noted.