Ghana’s poultry imports have more than quadrupled since 2002 and increasing at a rate of five per cent annually.
Last year Ghana’s total meat imports rose from 97,719 metric tonnes in 2012 to 183,949 metric tonnes registering an increase of 88 per cent.
“Currently we consume an average of 225,000 metric tonnes of meat annually and interestingly domestic production constitutes only 30 per cent of our meat production while poultry imports alone constitutes 80 per cent of our total meat imports,” Dr Hanna Louisa Abissiw, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), said.
Speaking at the launch of Ghana Broiler Revitalization Project in Accra, the Deputy Minister said if that situation was allowed to continue it would spell the doom of the poultry industry in Ghana.
She said the launch marked an important beginning for the country to once again take the destiny of the poultry industry into its own hands as the project would boost local capacity in the production, processing and marketing of broiler chickens.
The project was an initiative of the government through MOFA in collaboration with Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) and it is targeted to produce 30,000 metric tonnes of broiler meat this year, with an expected increase to 60,000 metric tonnes by the year 2016.
Dr Abissiw said the targets would progressively reduce Ghana’s meat import burden to 40 per cent by 2016 in line with the Ministry’s national livestock strategy policy.
She said arrangements were far advanced in terms of hatching eggs earmarked for the project, the eggs would be hatched by selected hatcheries and the day old broiler chicks made available to selected hub farms for brooding.
She said to kick-start such a transformation in the poultry industry, the Ministry would reduce imports of poultry products by 40 per cent this year to create space for marketing of locally produced chicken.
“The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is therefore delighted that after several deliberations and consultations involving the technical team from the Ministry and major stakeholders the Broiler Revitalization Project has come to fruition,” she said.
Dr Stephen Ockling, Deputy Director, Veterinary Services Depart, said the project aimed to develop the poultry industry along the poultry value chain, ensuring that production farms, input suppliers, hatcheries, feed mills, veterinary service producers, processors, markerters/cold stores and consumers all play their roles.
He said to date eight hub farms and 58 satellite farms were selected from Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions to start the project.
Mr Kwame Qokro, Executive Secretary of GNAPF, called on MOFA to establish a National Poultry Council to enforce strict adherence to quality standards along the broiler value chain.
He commended the government, MOFA and all partners for their effort to bring the project on board. GNA