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The prices of chicken and poultry products have been increased in the run-up to this year’s Christmas festivity.

The president of the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association, Victor Oppong Adjei, disclosed this during the 48th Annual Meeting of on Thursday, December 8 in Kumasi.

According to him, unlike previous seasons, the cost of production this year has increased sharply and has been inconsistent, hence the need for adjusting the prices of chicken and other poultry products.

He bemoaned the rising cost of production in the poultry industry put their businesses on the verge of collapse.

“Going into the Christmas festivities the public should be expectant to buy the brown chicken (spent layer) not less than 70gh but for the white ones their weight and sizes will determine their prices. This is due to the increase production cost of the birds.” Mr Oppong revealed.

“Maize, wheat bran, Soya beans are the main ingredients used to prepare poultry but in the last few months, prices of these products have increased exorbitantly. In the beginning of this year, 50kg of maize shot up from 65gh to 180gh but recently, 50kg of maize is 250gh. 25kg of wheat bran which was 20gh is now 85gh whiles 50kg of Soya has exorbitantly shot up from 150gh to 600gh. A ton of feed was 1,500gh but now the same ton of feed is 6,700gh. Infact, the high cost of production have infected some of our members with psychological distress, diseases, other have even died whiles about 70% to 80% of our members have closed down their poultry farms,” he bewailed.

He noted that for the affordability of the prices of food products and for the country to be food secured, the Agriculture Ministry needs to rethink its policies.

“We can produce affordable and nutritious food for all but to achieve this, the ministry of agriculture must implement the right policies to reduce the high cost of production. Food security is not only the availability of food products, but their nutritional values must be high, affordable to all and the public must have varieties to choose from.”

He, therefore, suggested for the creation of a contingency fund to fight the bird flu pandemic and for a Ministry of Livestock and Poultry to be created to see to the needs and grievances of the poultry industry.

“Only poultry without livestock production can create over one million jobs. The poultry industry has the capacity to employ more people in the country hence there is the need to consider the creation of the Ministry of Livestock and Poultry. The bird flu and other pandemics have great impact in the poultry industry so with the creation of a contingency fund, affected farmers of such pandemics can be compensated on time,” he stressed.

However, the President of Ghana Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Cyril Quist, has charged government to stay up to the task of fighting galamsey due to the threat the menace poses to animals and humans.

“The destruction of farm lands affect the feeding of herbivores and omnivores and the use of poisonous chemicals in galamsey pollutes our water bodies from which the animals drink. We recorded a case where some pigs died after drinking from a polluted water source in a galamsey community,” he revealed.

By Issah Zakariah|Akoma FM||