About 70 percent of poultry farms in the country are on the verge of collapsing as poultry feed increases astronomically, president of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), Victor Oppong Adjei, has said.
Two years ago wheat bran used to sell at GH₵15 for a 25kg bag, but is now selling at GH₵50. Soya bean that was also sold at GH₵150 is now selling at GH₵400 per kilogramme, and the price of maize is no better than those two and has seen an up to 60 percent increment in recent times.
These are the main ingredients used in the preparation and production of poultry feed; and once they surge in price, managing their poultry farms becomes very expensive for farmers.
The Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene, at the 23rd Regional Annual General Meeting of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) last week in Kumasi hinted that about half the poultry farms in her region are folding-up.
Mr. Oppong Adjei confirming what the Regional Minister said, explaining to B&FT that the issue is much bigger as there has not been any intervention by government to help assuage their plight.
He confirmed that most of farmers are reducing the capacity on their farms in order to stay in business, even though feeding the birds is having a heavy toll on them.
He further cautioned that if proper measures are not put in place, the poultry industry might collapse totally.
“The situation is getting out of hand. It looks like there is no intervention to sustain the poultry industry. Very soon, we will not have a single poultry farm in the country. The situation is bad.
“The farms are basically in the Bono and Ashanti Regions. They are all having the same challenge as a result of the feed cost that has gone up over 300 percent. We were looking for an intervention by the ministry, but nothing came out of it; so it has now become very critical.
“If you go to the Bono Region, one farmer who owned a 300,000-bird capacity poultry farm has sold his birds and now has only 50,000 left. And even with that, it’s a challenge feeding them. When you go to the Eastern Region there is another farmer with 32,000 capacity; he now has only 700 birds. The situation is the same across the country, and it is very critical and needs timely intervention,” Mr. Oppong Adjei lamented.
On the number of jobs lost, Mr. Oppong Adjei explained that once the poultry farmers are cutting down on production, some of their staff will definitely be laid-off. He noted that depending on the size of a farm, staff strength could be around 50 or more.