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Regional News of Sunday, 30 August 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Poultry farmers in Sekondi-Takoradi plead with banks to understand their industry

Francis Ackom-Boadu, President, STMA Poultry Farmers Association Francis Ackom-Boadu, President, STMA Poultry Farmers Association

Francis Ackom-Boadu, the President of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Area (STMA) Poultry Farmers Association, has urged financial institutions who assist poultry farmers with loans to understand their industry and stop demanding repayments in the first month of disbursement.

Ackom-Boadu who spoke during the inauguration of the STMA Poultry Farmers Association on Thursday, August 27, said because these financial institutions do not understand how the poultry business works, they demand loan repayments even when it has not yielded the needed returns to the farmer.

He explained that layer chickens take an average of six months from when they are hatched before they start to lay eggs, so, if the farmer went for the loan for layer production, he would have done six months loan repayment before production of eggs starts.

“There is, therefore, the need for a six-month or one-year moratorium since it takes time for a poultry farmer to witness production. It is therefore instructive for banks to come to the table to discuss and understand the nature of our industry,” Ackom-Boadu said.

He added, “It is imperative for financial institutions to create a special desk for the poultry industry and give attention to it.”

Mr Ackom-Boadu further stated that some of the major challenges facing the poultry industry is the importation of frozen chicken under the notion that farmers in Ghana cannot produce the needed capacity.

He indicated that this assertion is mostly wrong because the poultry farmers do not get the necessary support to even produce their required capacity to feed the nation.

“The Technology to sustainably process our products in commercial quantities to fight the stiff competition from imported frozen chicken, is nonexistent and involves quite a huge capital for one to acquire. This has resulted in the creation of seasonal/occasional farmers who produce for the purposes of Christmas and Easter while leaving the coops empty for the rest of the year,” Ackom-Boadu explained. “Evenly distributing large-scale processing plants across the nation is key to ensuring continuous production for meat purposes. In this case, farmers can produce, having in mind an existing ready market,” he said.

The STMA Poultry Farmers Association President further stated: “The importation is done with hard-earned currency which puts pressure on the dollar with its negative effects on the economy. There is a need to encourage and support crop farmers to produce maize and soya bean in large quantities. It is in this direction that we commend the government’s flagship project of Planting for Food and Jobs. This project, if implemented fully, will go a long way to halt the importation of maize and soya bean.”

Francis Ackom-Boadu then asked pharmaceutical companies to venture into the local manufacturing of more veterinary drugs to augment our industry.

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