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Ghana Has 21m Chickens   
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Approximately 21 million layers are in the country presently, Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) has announced.

Kwabena Asante said the figure represent a sharp improvement over last year’s figure, which stood at 18 million. He said the positive development is a clear indication that the poultry business is vibrant.

Mr. Asante debunked assertions that the poultry business is at an all time low, insisting that poultry farming is contributing to Ghana’s growth. According to him, about 529,300 metric tonnes of maize, worth several millions of dollars, would be needed to feed the chicken per annum.

He noted the significant rise in the number of layers has the potential of creating jobs for about 1,500 people. Mr. Asante was speaking to City & Business Guide during a day’s forum for Maize Value Chain Actors/Stakeholders at the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi.

The event was organized by Ghana Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE), an agric development NGO in the USA with funding from USAID. Implemented by ACDI, VOCA and ADVANCE, the event was attended by poultry farmers, farmers, maize processors, maize buyers, financial institutions, among others.

He disclosed that the broilers which are raised for their meat has seen significant decline in growth in the last 10 years, attributing the downward trend to the importation of frozen chicken into the country.

Mr. Asante also cited production cost such as high utility bills, high prices of maize and soyer as some of the key factors that have contributed to the fast decline in the broiler chicken project.

He urged the media to allocate some of their time to highlight the challenges and contributions of poultry farming and stop engaging in politics on their networks. The programme was aimed at bringing all stakeholders in the five regions in the maize value chain together to discuss ways to help improve maize production.

Emmanuel Gyarteng Mensah, Value Chain Manager of ADVANCE, facilitators of the event, said the programme was aimed at helping farmers to produce more maize in Ghana.

He said the event was aimed at helping maize farmers have access to the market after production and also link the farmers to the banking institutions in the country. Ghana National Best Farmer for 1996, George Aloko Dongo lauded the facilitators of the event, insisting the programme has enlightened them about how to get loans from banks among other positive things.

He appealed to the government to immediately introduce policies to insure farm produce against fire outbreaks, noting the phenomenon is killing their businesses. Hajiya Salamatu, a maize buyer, said maize produced by farmers get rotten due to the non-availability of storage facilities.
Source: I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi /

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