The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers is advising investors against venturing into the poultry industry as they explain the tendency for new farmers to run at a loss is very high because of the high cost of feed and poor government policies.

The Association has described the government’s flagship programme Rearing for Jobs (RFJ) as a white elephant because the programme is yet to impact and revamp the poultry industry since its inception some three years ago.

They explain the high cost of feeding fees despite the government’s introduction of Planting for Foods and Jobs (PFJ) is a clear indication that the Ministry of Agriculture has failed in ensuring food security, job creation and modernisation of the sector, which are their core mandate.

Launched on June 25, 2019, at Wa in the Upper West Region under the theme ‘Self-Sufficiency in Meat Production – a Must’ by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the RFJ programme was targeted to modernize and transform agriculture for food, jobs and foreign exchange through the rearing of livestock such as poultry cattle, sheep, and goats among others.

At the launch, the president indicated that “the target of the RFJ initiative for the poultry sector is, to produce 40,000 Metric Tonnes of broiler meat on a pilot basis in 2020 and scale up production in subsequent years”.

But speaking on Akoma FM’s current affairs and political show GhanAkoma last Friday, President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers Victor Oppong Agyei lamented that implementation of the RFJ programme failed because the Ministry did not “engage we the poultry farmers so you cannot roll such a project without engaging we the industry players and this why the project is failing”.

Mr Oppong Agyei further lamented that “three years down the line after the president launched the RFJ, there has not been any sponsor from government or any fiscal fund in a form of loan to boost the industry and this is affecting the industry”.

During the show on AKoma FM, some poultry farmers phoned in to express their frustration.

One farmer called from Ejisu, describing how fast the poultry industry is dwindling.

“At first, I used to have over 5,000 birds but because we are not able to buy feed and other logistics now my birds are just around 700. So, we are dying. It is very serious so the government must as a matter of urgency support we the local farmers.”

Another farmer, who described himself as John Senya and Chairman of the Poultry Farmers Association at Afigya Kwabre District, lamented that “my birds which were over 20,000, have been reduced to 3,000 because I cannot feed my birds. The Agric industry is not helping”.

The Association’s president Victor Oppong Agyei further proposed that without a holistic approach to revamping the poultry industry with a linkage to maize, soya bean and production of other components of the poultry feed, the local industry will collapse in the next six months to one year.