GHANA – As part of its newly launched Broiler Revitalization Project, Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture will distribute 20 million-day-old chicks to selected poultry farmers nationwide aiming for self-sufficiency in chicken meat.
This is in line with the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) Initiative launched on 25th June, 2019 by the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo under the theme “Self-Sufficiency in Meat Production – a Must”
The RFJ initiative is to modernize and transform agriculture for food, jobs and foreign exchange through the rearing of livestock such as poultry cattle, sheep, goats among others.
The target of this initiative for the poultry sector is, to produce 40,000MT of broiler meat on a pilot basis in 2020 and scale up production in subsequent years.
According to the Animal Production Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana currently imports over 240,000 MT of meat that is, chicken, beef and others to make up for its meat deficit costing the country over US$375 million annually.
The National demand for poultry meat alone is about 400,000Mt with local production of just about 57,871MT an indication that, imports of poultry meat is about 180,000MT with a shortfall of 162,129 MT.
It has been identified that broiler meat importation constitutes over 80% of total meat imports into the country and broiler production has also been identified as the fastest means of reducing meat imports through local production or import substitution.
Commercial large-scale poultry production in Ghana is undertaken by about 29 farms forming 20% of the total poultry sector.
The medium-scale and the small-scale categories comprise 80 per cent of the poultry sector and rely on hatcheries for their day-old chicks and feed mills for their feed.
Even though there are local hatcheries that produce day-old chicks, the quality is generally low, so most poultry farmers prefer to buy imported day-old chicks.
In 2018, Ghana imported 511,960 broiler day-old chicks and 7,130,999 layer day-old chicks.
Considering the above situation of high import bills, has dawned on Ghanaians, to develop a competitive and efficient livestock industry that will revitalize the broiler industry and increase domestic production, reduce importation of livestock products and contribute to employment generation to improve livelihoods and the national economy.