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General News of Saturday, 3 September 2011

Source: GNA

Farmers appeal to government to save poultry industry

Kumasi, Sept 3, GNA – Farmers have appealed to Government to take decisive measures to save the country’s poultry industry from imminent collapse.

The farmers complained about unfair competition resulting from unrestrained frozen chicken imports, lack of access to credit, high interest rates on commercial loans and poor quality feed.

Mr Kwadwo Asante, Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAP), said the issues needed to be tackled with urgency to give some life to the sector.

He was speaking at a day’s sensitization workshop on the ECOWAS Common External Tariffs at the Quarshie Idun Hall of the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi on Friday.

The programme was put together by the Business Support Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) in collaboration with the GNAP.

Mr Asante suggested the establishment of a Poultry Fund to assist industry operators to obtain loans at reasonable interest charges.

He said it should not be difficult for the government to do this given the interventions it had put in place for the other sectors in agriculture.

He cited the sale of tractors to maize farmers on hire-purchase, subsidized fertilizers for maize farmers, the mass cocoa spraying and pre-mix fuel for those into fishing and said they were the only group that had not directly benefitted from such incentive packages.

The National Chairman also underlined the need for the Ghana Standard Board (GSB) and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) to ensure that poultry feed on the market had high protein content and met standards

Dr Nii Laate Pessey, a Consultant at BUSAC, called on the farmers to forge a united front, saying this was the only way they could protect their business.

This would enable them to identify their specific challenges and find effective ways to deal with them.

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