In revamping the poultry industry in Ghana, the Cape Coast Metro Department of Agriculture has trained 40 female poultry farmers from various communities in improved poultry farming practices.
Leading the training session, the Metro Agriculture Officer in charge of Animal Production, Mr. Philip Arthur made a presentation on how to maintain healthy birds, outlining measures to produce healthy poultry products. He stressed on the need for the women to view poultry production as a viable profession which could improve upon their livelihoods, support their families and help feed the growing populace.
“We should aim at producing quality products for the market so that what we do will yield the results we seek.”Mr. Philip Arthur
According to Mr. Arthur, the poultry industry is a good agribusiness venture for women especially, and the youth in general. However, due to its suffering state, training programmes like this are important to maintaining the quality of its standards.
“Most people want to venture into poultry farming but don’t have the know-how on management and best husbandry practices. Some also easily get discouraged after a few failures. There are others who don’t get the expected end results and lapse into poverty because they don’t procure their materials from the right sources. Hence, this programme aims at properly training them on how to manage their production and keep it qualitative from start to finish.”Mr. Philip Arthur
He added that the competitive advantage for local farmers lies with egg production and must be handled with all seriousness.
“The importation of chicken into the country makes it difficult for our local farmers to produce broilers. The production cost is so high, resulting in high product prices. Most farmers would rather focus on egg production. If the right practices are not implemented here, the eggs lose their quality and become compromised. It is important to produce high-quality eggs for local consumption, which also qualify for exports.”Mr. Philip Arthur
The Metro Veterinary Officer, Dr. Prince Kofi Antwi, advised the farmers on best health practices to keep their birds, eggs and other produce, safe, healthy and to meet the standards for both the local and international markets. He then educated participants on the need for proper ventilation in poultry houses and the appropriate times to administer pure vitamins, anthelmintic drugs and other vaccines.
“About three months ago, a survey we did showed that farmers were using unprescribed antibiotics on their farms. You should know that a quality test that reveals the slightest trace of antibiotics in your eggs automatically disqualifies them from local consumption or export. They affect the quality of the produce and have adverse effects on consumers’ health.”Dr. Prince Kofi Antwi
Expressing gratitude for the training program, Jemima Afaglo Addo, a teacher and a poultry farmer agreed that the program has been an eye-opener and expressed her willingness to learn all she can to make poultry farming a sustainable source of income for her family.
She, however, expressed sadness at the lack of much-needed facilities for poultry farmers in the country and appealed to the government to support the industry. She also appealed to the organizers of the training programme to do follow-ups to the farms of the trainees to best understand, and make recommendations regarding their issues.