Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture has stated that the Akufo-Addo government will concentrate on mechanizing soya and maize production in a bid to boost the poultry industry.
According to the Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the poultry industry is failing because of lack of poultry feed at affordable prices to boost production and the government has resolved to concentrate on mechanizing soya production as a solution to that problem.
Speaking at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Breakfast meeting, he stated that soya is a fundamental ingredient in the production of poultry feed and women in the Northern part of the country that feed the soya market have complained a lot about the tedious nature of harvesting the legume plant with human labor and the risk of not harvesting on time.
“If you plant so much of soya and you can’t get it harvested within three days you may lose the whole crop, because after a certain level of drying they start popping and you lose everything so it is very critical to introduce some mechanization into harvesting soya if we are serious about expanding it,” he said.
The Minister further stressed on the reason for government choosing to boost maize and soya industry as a means of promoting poultry sector which is because of the consumption rate of the product.
“We import 150,000 metric tons of poultry meat yearly which works out to about 11 million eggs of chicken and we are not even producing a million eggs of chicken yearly, when we used export chicken and eggs from this country 20, 30 years ago,” he stated
Dr. Afriyie Akoto also stated that his Ministry and the poultry industry have devised a five-year plan for Ghana to be self-sufficient in the poultry sector and to do that the sector needs 400 metric tons of maize and 170 metric tons of soya as basic ingredients for feed production.
“And about 80% of the cost of poultry production is acquiring the feed so if we are able to provide that then we can save our foreign exchange for our development and not for consumption,” he added.
The Minister added that for us to boost marketing as a country, we need more storage facilities because “at the moment we don’t even have 32,000 metric tons of storage space and we had to commandeer COCOBOD to get an extra 97,000 metric tons which is still short considering the fact that we need 200,000 metric tons”.
It is for this that the President, Akufo-Addo 10 days ago commissioned the one-district-one-warehouse project to aid in catering for the bumper harvest expected from the government’s planting for food and jobs program.