Ghana has begun moves to end the amount of poultry products imported into the country on annual basis.
Currently, foreign poultry accounts for almost 80 percent of what is consumed domestically and that, has been a worry for both government and industry players.
The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAPFA) has, since last year been pushing the agenda to enable government to enforce a quota system where at least 50 percent of poultry products consumed in Ghana would be produced domestically.
In line with this, Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, at the recently ended Ghana Investment and Opportunities Summit in the UK, said Ghana is ready to end the annual importation of over US$200 million poultry products into the country.
While this move would be much welcomed by the GAPFA and other poultry farmer associations, government has resolved to also deepen growth in other sectors of the agricultural industry.
As the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is expected to commence the production of four million-day-old chicks per annum over the next five years through the Broiler Revitalisation Programme, government is also looking forward to a substantial expansion in the establishment of Agricultural Mechanization Centres (AMSEC’s) across the country in 2020.
“We expect a substantial expansion in the establishment of AMSECs in 2020 through the disbursement of the last tranche of US$33 million loan from Brazil and US$150 million facility from Eximbank of India.” Dr. Afriyie Akoto said.
He recounted that “true to government’s promise of mechanizing agriculture, farm machinery worth US$33 million were imported from Brazil in 2019 to support agriculture.
The machineries, according to MoFA, are available at 40 percent subsidized cost to farmer associations, private investors and selected District Assemblies for the establishment of Agricultural Mechanization Centres (AMSEC’s) across the country.
Ineffectiveness of public policy explains Ghana’s unflattering status as a rising importer of food over the past decade in particular.
The staggering annual food import bill of over US$2billion is all the more reason why government must modernize Ghana’s agricultural sector through its value and supply chains, from production to consumption.