The Ghanaian pork market is now officially opened to U.S. counterpart to be able to import pork and pork products in addition to other meat products from the United States of America.
In a signed letter to the Veterinary Medical Officer of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Acting Chief Veterinary Officer of the Ghanaian Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture acknowledged receipt of the FSIS’ proposed certificate of export for pork and pork products, and confirmed its acceptance, according to FSIS.
Ghana’s imported pork and pork products market was valued at $16 million in 2021, according to a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN report. Moreover, total imports increased steadily from 2017, hitting 15,000 metric tons (MT) in 2021.
“The market is dominated by the EU, with the United States not being a significant player. The opening of the market to U.S. pork and pork products is therefore an opportunity that can be exploited by U.S. exporters.”USDA FAS
Pork meat consumption per capita reached 1.17 kg in 2020 in Ghana, according to Faostat. This is 13.6% more than in the previous year.
Historically, pork meat consumption per capita in Ghana reached an all time high of 1.17 kg in 2020 and an all time low of 0.470 kg in 1965.
Ghana has been ranked 110th within the group of 149 countries in terms of interest rate on pork meat consumption per capita.
Factors Affecting the Production of Pigs in Ghana
There are some factors affecting the production of pigs in Ghana to meet the rising demands for pork. In Ghana, many farmers raise the large white breed and its crosses with other exotic breeds than the local black pigs and its crosses.
Semi-intensive system of rearing with smaller herd (about 15) is mostly practised in the rural areas while the intensive system with larger herds (about 57) are practised in the urban areas.
Feed unavailability, high cost of feed ingredients and lack of credit facilities limit the expansion of the swine enterprise, and lack of organised marketing channels adversely affect production levels.
Despite the high consumption data, consumption of pork is adversely affected by religious, spiritual and customary beliefs, health of pigs, inherent fattiness of pork, and lack of exposure to pork and food preference considerations in family diets. From 2014 to 2021, the growth of the market remained at a lower figure.
Overall, production continued to indicate a deep slump. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2013 with an increase of 58%. As a result, production reached the peak level. Meanwhile, the number of animals slaughtered for pork production peaked in 2018.
Hike in Prices of Pork Products
Recently, the Pig Famers Association of Ghana (PFAG) announced an upward adjustment in prices of its products across the country.
The development, according to the leadership of the association, was as a result of increment in the prices of feed and husbandry among others.
According to PFAG, the price adjustments, which was between 15 to 30 per cent, would make up for price hikes in production inputs from the year 2021 till date.
With Ghana starting the importation of pork from the United States and with the rapid depreciation of the local currency – the cedi, pork lovers must be ready to pay more for the meat they love.