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Planting for Food, Jobs: Poultry farmers lament soaring prices of soya, maize

They say the government has failed to provide feed to boast poultry production, months after the first harvest under the programme.
They are the third group to challenge government’s claim that the programme has been successful after the Agricultural Workers Union and the Peasant Farmers Association did same recently.
The Agric Minister, Dr Akoto Afriyie, in October last year said the government will concentrate on mechanising soya and maize production under the programme in a bid to boost the poultry industry.
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However, members of the Poultry Farmers Association say they are yet to benefit from the programme as the price of maize and soya continue to soar on the market.
Vice Chairman of the Association, Napoleon Oduro Owusu, believes the maize and soya bean mechanization programme under the Planting for Food and Jobs has not worked.
Ghana currently imports about 150,000 metric tons of poultry meat yearly, a situation the Association says could sink the local poultry industry unless the government takes drastic steps to support the industry.
“Moving forward, if we don’t arrange to organise the Planting for Food and Jobs concept properly, then it means poultry production is going to be extremely expensive,” he warned.
Ghana’s poultry sector has been experiencing a steep decline since the year 2000.
Many, if not all, the commercial poultry farms that were established in the late 1960s and early 1970s have collapsed and/or are on the verge of collapsing.
Parliament has passed a law to increase taxes on the importation of frozen chicken but that law has never been implemented due to pressures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Related video: Poultry industry in distress – The Pulse on Joy News (20-4-16)
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