Business News of 2014-07-16

Broiler revitalisation project launched

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has launched the broiler revitalisation project meant to enhance local capacity in the production, processing and marketing of broiler chicken in the country.

The project is also meant to increase the supply of meat, animal and dairy products and reduce the high level of importation of chicken products into the country. It is also expected to create jobs for the teeming Ghanaian youth.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Livestock, Dr Hannah Louisa Bissiw, said the project was in line with the ministry’s national livestock strategy to increase the supply of meat, animal and dairy products of domestic production from the current aggregate level of 30 per cent to 50 per cent of national requirement by 2016.

She said the target of the project was to produce 30,000 metric tonnes of broiler meat this year, with an expected increase to 60,000 metric tonnes by 2016. Dr Bissiw added that the project was also necessary for the survival of the broiler industry.

Explaining the measures that had been put in place to ensure the success of the project, she said arrangements were far-advanced in terms of the eggs earmarked for the project. She indicated that the eggs would be hatched by selected hatcheries, while the day-old broiler chicks would be made available to selected hub farms for brooding.

According to her, Ghana depended largely on imported chicken, saying that the introduction of the project would reduce the high dependency rate. “Last year alone, 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,” she said.

She added that currently, the nation consumed an average of 225,000 metric tonnes of chicken annually, saying that if the situation persisted, it could spell the doom of the poultry industry in Ghana.

Dr Bissiw commended Boris B. Farms and Veterinary Supplies Limited, a distributor of poultry feeds and drugs, for its acceptance to finance the production of the first batch of one million birds for the project.

She used the opportunity to caution importers of frozen meat and dairy products to desist from importing without the prior authorisation or permit from the MoFA. She stated that it was illegal for any government agency to grant or issue permits to importers in that regard.

Consequently, she advised that any importer who might want to import into the country should register with the Veterinary Services Directorate of the MoFA.

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