…as poultry feed, other inputs bite farmers
Consumers should expect to pay a premium for the main delicacy of Christmas – fowl, as prices on the market have shot up by at least 75 percent due to high cost of production in the country’s poultry farms.
President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), Victor Oppong Adjei, has indicated that even though fowl are in abundance for the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations, customers will have to pay more than the price they paid for the same fowl last year.
According to him, layer-birds are selling at GH₵70 though they were sold at GH₵40 last year. The broilers, which used to sell at GH₵80 last year are now selling between GH₵120 and GH₵150 depending on weight and size.
He explained to B&FT that this development is due to farmers having had to pay more than thrice the former price for farm inputs, especially for feed, over the period.
“We have enough birds to sell this Christmas. Some farmers are raising broilers to meet the demand. So the chicken will not be the problem – except that the price will be a bit higher because of the input prices which have gone up. We were buying a tonne of feed for GH₵1,500; and as we speak now, it has shot up to over GH₵6,000. So, the way that input prices have gone up, it has affected everything; so we have agreed to adjust the prices,” he said.
Poultry industry near collapse
He expressed worry that authorities are not heeding the pleas of poultry farmers, as most of them are running into debt – to the extent of losing their working capital.
“If we don’t take care, there will be a time when we will not have a single poultry farmer in the country because you are supposed to do business and get profit. But if you continue to pile up debt, as we speak now, some farmers are in court; some have died because of the sad situation; some have lost their properties; some have lost their working capital, and a whole lot of things. It’s very challenging and something must be done about it as soon as possible to salvage the situation,” he stressed.
Mr. Oppong Adjei blamed the inability of authorities to deal with the situation on their misunderstanding of the poultry industry, and suggested ways of helping to assuage the situation.
“If they understood our work, they would appreciate the challenges and act accordingly. They should have already called us for a round-table meeting to have discussions as to how the industry can be revamped. Up till now, we talk but nobody minds us… and that’s very bad. We are building an economy and we have to come together to discuss the issue and see how best we can resolve it,” he noted.
He further explained how the poultry industry can help turn around the economy, as it can create over a million jobs.
“The poultry industry is big, with a potential of creating a million jobs; so we should be given recognition so that we use it to change dynamics of the economy by creating jobs and impacting it – and also help to stabilise the cedi because we use a lot of money importing chicken; so why don’t we produce locally so that money can stay in the country and reduce the pressure on the cedi,” he emphasised.