Poultry farmers and feed producers have called on the government to save the livestock feed industry from collapse due to the "unprecedented" shortage of maize, soya and wheat bran in the country.
The scarcity of raw materials for the production of feed for the birds, they pointed out, had resulted in price hikes of poultry products.
Maize, wheat bran and soya bean cake constitute about 80 per cent of the total volume of ingredients used in the production of feed for poultry.
The scarcity of maize, soya and wheat bran, they indicated, could cause a great loss for the industry in terms of loss of jobs and capital of the farmers.
The development, they said, could also affect the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), nutrition and food security, poverty alleviation, and revenue generation.
Registering their plight at a press briefing yesterday, the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAPFA), which has 1,775 members, warned of danger for the nation’s economy if the situation was not addressed.
President of the GAPFA, Mr Micheal Nyarko Ampem, said a 50 kilogramme bag of maize, which sold at GH¢65 in June 2020, was now GH¢130, while wheat bran, which was GH¢17, was now GH¢30, with the price of soya rising from GH¢122 to GH¢190.
"The resultant effect is that our working capital has been reduced drastically. Also, these cereals are hardly available on the market for us to purchase," he said.
He urged the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, to sign an MoU with the flour millers for the consistent supply of at least 50 per cent of the total wheat bran required by poultry feed mills at a mutually agreed price.
He also appealed to the government to encourage the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to partner private businesses to import maize specifically for the poultry industry.A council member of the association, Mr Kwame Ntim Duoduo, said the feed mill of the association had to be closed temporarily on a number of occasions, while four other poultry feed producers in the Greater Accra Region had collapsed as a result of the development.He mentioned the feed mills that have closed down as Akwaaba Feeds, Koujis Feeds, Yili Feeds and Essae Agrow.Many poultry farmers, he said, were selling off their birds at ridiculously low prices in a bid to recoup some of their investments.He called on the government to create a dedicated strategic national grain reserve of a minimum […]