GHANA – The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in Ghana, has launched an initiative to support poultry farmers by distributing 4.5 million-day-old chicks boosting local poultry production.

The effort is part of a broader strategy to boost local poultry meat production by 13,200 tonnes by the end of 2023. It also includes the distribution of vaccines and animal feed to aid breeders in their poultry farming endeavors.

Bryan Acheampong, responsible for the portfolio, shared that the plan is aimed at increasing support for farmers even further in the following year.

The ministry intends to provide 18 million-day-old chicks, vaccines, and starter feed to facilitate the production of 42,600 tonnes of meat.

Additionally, the executive plans to rehabilitate 300 poultry farms throughout the country over the next 12 months, each capable of producing 200,000 birds during each four-month poultry cycle.

Chicken meat is a preferred source of animal protein in Ghana, following fish, and the country aims to boost its local production to meet its consumption needs.

As per USDA data, in 2021, Ghana produced 50,000 tonnes of chicken meat, which accounted for about 13% of its consumption, standing at 400,000 tonnes.

These interventions aligned with the ambitions of the second phase of the government program “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ II), which seeks to achieve self-sufficiency in chicken meat by 2028.

The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers emphasized the need for the government to accelerate efforts to revitalize the poultry sector.

They believed that addressing challenges such as the high cost of feed and other issues would motivate more farmers to engage in poultry farming, benefiting not only the poultry farmers but the entire economy.

Mr. Victor Oppong Adjei, National Chairman of the Association, pointed out that the poultry sector has the potential to create over a million jobs in the country and reduce rural-urban migration.

He also called for the regulation of imported frozen chicken to support local broiler production, which faces competition from imported poultry products.

In addition, Ricky Aboagye Poku, Head of the Poultry Production Unit at MoFA, mentioned that the government is committed to addressing challenges in the poultry sector.

The second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) program is aimed to focus on key commodities, including poultry, to revive the industry, reduce import bills, and promote local poultry production.

Currently, Ghana consumes approximately 460,000 metric tons of poultry meat annually, according to 2022 data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

While the poultry industry in Ghana was flourishing between 2017 and 2021, it faced challenges post-COVID-19, including rising feed costs.

Meanwhile, the government’s efforts to support the sector and increase local production have played a crucial to ensure food security and economic growth in the country.