Graphic Business News

Govt asked to ban import of day-old chicks

By: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah
It is important to build the capacity of local producers
It is important to build the capacity of local producers

THE Managing Director (MD) of Park Agrotech Ghana Limited, Mr Lalit Mishra, has called on the government to ban the importation of day-old chicks and rather support local producers to expand their activities to meet the demand of local poultry farmers.

He said while it was cheaper to produce day-old chicks in the country, the situation would also save the country from importing endemic diseases from other countries in addition to saving a lot of foreign exchange for other purposes.

Mr Mishra was speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of the 2nd Poultry Value Chain Fair, which ended in Sunyani on Thursday, March 22, 2018 on the theme: “Employment creation along the poultry value chain: Public-Private Partnership Approach.

The two-day fair was attended by poultry farmers, researchers, industrialists, bankers and other players within the poultry industry to discuss problems confronting the growth of the sector and find possible solutions.

Park Agrotech Ghana Limited
Park Agrotech Ghana Limited is a rapidly growing agribusiness company, with focus on re-orientation and modernisation of agriculture production and management.

As a subsidiary of the Skylark Group of companies in India, the company is engaged in mechanised farming and poultry.

The company grows maize and soya bean for its integrated poultry business to meet requirements of raw materials without any interruption in the supply chain.

In poultry, Park Agrotech deals in parent stock operations, commercial layer business and feed milling and trading in other areas within the poultry value chain.

Buy day-old chicks in Ghana
The MD also called on poultry farmers to buy from factories producing day-old chicks in the country and disabuse their minds from the notion that things purchased abroad could give them better results.

He explained that some poultry farmers who had taken day-old chicks from the company and had also imported day-old chicks had testified that chicks from the company were doing much better than the imported ones.

He stated his company was currently producing 20,000 day-old chicks per week, explaining that “we have the capacity to produce about 200,000 day-old chicks per week.”

Critical pillars
No matter what the company or the government does, the poultry industry in the country can only grow if farmers in the poultry value chain do  a very good job, Mr Mishra said, adding that “the farmers are the critical pillars of the entire poultry value chain.”

“If we are to succeed as a country in poultry farming, farmers are the ones who have to be good, they have to be trained and at the same time they have to be encouraged,” he stated.

Mr Mishra said it was a result of that conviction that Park Agrotech had instituted a scheme to celebrate farmers who patronised its products and had been taking good care of their day-old chicks.

He commended Ghanaian farmers for their hard work that produced good results, adding that given the necessary assistance, they could be compared to world-class farmers.

Mr Mishra, however, expressed concern about the high interest on loans and called on the government to “find monies for farmers at an affordable cost to enable them to be able to compete with their counterparts elsewhere.”

Importation of frozen chicken
Mr Mishra called on the government to have the political will to emulate Nigeria’s example by banning the importation of frozen chicken into the country.

He explained that it would be economically prudent for the country to put in measures to be self-reliant in the poultry industry since that could generate more employment along the poultry value chain.

“The world is about economics,” he said and explained that given the necessary political will and direction “I am 110 per cent sure that the Ghanaian poultry farmer can make money, I am 100 per cent sure that we can become self-sufficient within a period of four years.” — GB