Michael Nyarko-Ampem, the President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers’ Association, has bemoaned the failure of the Finance Minister to capture and address the recent shortage of poultry feed in the mid-year budget.
According to him, government must strategically put in place measures to help resolve the shortage encountered by farmers.
His comments follow the Finance Minister’s indication of government’s plans to revolutionize the agric sector.
Mr Ofori Atta revealed that this will be achieved by investing in initiatives that would improve production and productivity in the rice, poultry, soybean, and tomato sub-sectors this year.
That notwithstanding, Mr Nyarko-Ampem noted that the finance minister did not provide comprehensive detail on government’s plans.
In addition, he maintained that the failure of the government to address the imminent shortage of poultry feed for their birds will not bode well for poultry farmers.
“They stated that they’ve consulted the value chain, and so they are putting in place measures to ensure that maize and poultry production goes up. But the details of it were not stated. Which percentage are these projections supposed to go up and when? They could have said maybe we are moving from 1.6 million tonnes that we had last year to maybe 1.9 million tonnes.
“They should have given some details so that there’ll be some reassurance. But in the interim where things have run out, how do we ensure that we have food security? I was a bit disappointed”.Michael Nyarko-Ampem
Poultry farmers’ association petition government
Additionally, Mr Nyarko-Ampem re-echoed petitions by various stakeholders for the government to help provide some solutions. This, he noted, will help bring an end to the ongoing challenges encountered by poultry farmers.
“There’s a shortage of maize, wheat bran and soya. The prices are high and farms are shutting down. I was thinking that a situation like this would be mentioned and highlighted. It was not done, but we are still asking that the government looks at it because it’s dire. Between October and December is the peak period, so if we don’t do something about it, we are going to suffer a great loss in those months.”Michael Nyarko-Ampem
Prior to this, food and fertilizer shortages have been heavily vented by stakeholders such as the Peasant farmers Association of Ghana. Incessant calls have been made to government to help resolve the situation.
Government to reform fertilizer subsidy
Presenting the mid-year budget, Ken Ofori-Atta revealed government’s intent to reform fertilizer subsidy. According to him, this will help sanitize the fertilizer space using the Ghana CARES programme.
“Ghana CARES is providing catalytic support to drive efficiency and improve outputs in the agricultural sector by investing in data and digital technology. These technologies would revolutionise the targeting of inputs such as seed inputs, extension services and acquisition of land for commercial farming.
“Additionally, the program would support the reform of the fertilizer subsidy system using digital technology, to make it more efficient and less prone to smuggling. This would be achieved by registering farmers for improved targeting. The registration will provide information on farmers’ bio data, crops cultivated, acreage, digital location of farms to track seed and fertilizer subsidy programme. By the end of February 2022, 1.2 million farmers will be registered”.Ken Ofori Atta