Poultry hatcheries in Ghana are not producing at full capacity, according to a new assessment report on the industry released by the US government.
The hatcheries are running at 60% of capacity, says the report prepared by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and published August 6, 2013.
According to the report titled “Ghana Poultry Report Annual 2013?, there are presently seven hatcheries in Ghana that produce day-old chicks for commercial production of broiler and layer birds.
“However most of the poultry hatcheries are only producing about 60% of capacity due to low demand,” the report said.
Citing industry sources, the US report indicated that the demand for layer birds from hatcheries is over 80% of total capacity and “only three of these hatchery companies maintain their own parent stocks of layer or broiler birds”.
It added that the other poultry producers import fertile eggs.
The Ghanaian poultry industry does not have a law which ensures the production of quality day-old chicks from domestic hatcheries.
The country also has no law that ensures the importation of good quality and disease-free fertile eggs, according to US officials.
Commercial poultry operations in Ghana are found mostly in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
Ghana’s poultry feed industry is believed to have shifted to producing layer feed due to the increase in poultry layer producers.
“About 90% of feed produced by commercial feed millers is layer feed. Broiler feed is mainly purchased by small scale backyard poultry producers because most large scale operators produce their own feed,” the report noted.
However, there is a seasonal feed demand from the larger producers who raise birds for the festive seasons such as Christmas and Easter.
By Ekow Quandzie
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