Mr Eliphas Barine, Kenyan High Commissioner to Ghana, has called on researchers and the academia to come out with local vaccines to treat chicken diseases. He said such diseases were collapsing the poultry industry and that it was time local scientists found a solution to the menace.
Speaking at the outdoor of “Ghana Chicken Festival”, an initiative of Agrihouse Foundation, he said, producing local feed would also reduce the cost of production, which was a challenge.
Sharing the Kenya experience, Mr Barine spoke on the theme “Kenyan’s Poultry industry: challenges, successes and strategies in building a growth path – learning for Ghana”.
The High Commissioner said the cost, consistency and availability of feed, outbreak of diseases, cost of vaccines, among other challenges were some of the challenges affecting the poultry industry, which needed to be tackled locally if the sector had to be sustained.
He advised farmers not to only feed the local market but go international, adding that it required policy decision, and innovation.
Mr Barine called on credit facilities to support farmers by giving them financial help to sustain their businesses.
Madam Alberta Akyaa Akosa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Agrihouse Foundation, launching the third edition of the Ghana Poultry Festival, said the annual event was a response to challenges faced by poultry farmers.
She said the occasion was to advocate the need to consume local birds and eggs because they were medicinal, have anticancer nature, and low cholesterol content.
The event also offered skill training to farmers on methods of producing quality and best poultry products, with the last event having 650 beneficiaries.
Madam Akosa said the 2023 Festival set for July 1, would be used to develop career opportunities.
The activities will include competition using a variety of chicken, and networking.
Dr Comfort Acheampong, Chair of the Planning Committee, Ghana Eggs Secretariat, encouraged the populace to continue eating Ghanaian chicken due to the nutritional value.
Nene Davies, Chairman of the Ghana Poultry and Fisheries, said 85 percent of poultry farmers were not into business because of the rising cost of feeding, vaccines, among others.
He said the Ghanaian market needed 400,000 metric tonnes of poultry, the main source of protein for the citizenry, but the local producers were only able to meet 14 percent of the demand.
Dr Boris Baidoo, CEO of Boris B Farms, commended Agrihouse for championing awareness creation at the time when the industry was on the verge of collapsing.
Mr Russell Nicely, the United States Embassy’s Foreign Agricultural Counselor, pledged the US’s support to ensure Ghana gained a level playing field in the sector.