18.09.2004 General News

Poultry Farmers call for more Government Support

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Takoradi, Sept 18, GNA - Even though the poultry industry is going through numerous setbacks in its growth, it is still the most developed sub-sector in the livestock industry in the country, says Mr. Edward Frimpong-Barfi, General Manager of Afariwa Farms Limited. He said the government has the responsibility to do more to create the enabling environment to encourage and sustain the poultry industry that is an area for wealth creation and poverty reduction.

Mr Frimpong-Barfi was opening a day's seminar for about 150 poultry farmers from the Central and Western regions at Takoradi on Friday. It was organised by Afariwa Farms, one of the leading poultry farms in the country, as part of its annual education programme for small-scale operators in the sector. ''Poultry farming is a viable avenue for job creation and the government should consider the sector as one of the Presidential Special initiatives,'' Mr Frimpong-Barfi said and pledged that Afariwa Farms would be ready to partner the government in such a venture. He said even though the policy on livestock had been reviewed to ensure increase in meat, egg and milk production, more pragmatic measure had to be adopted to save the poultry industry from collapse.

Mr Frimpong-Barfi mentioned trade liberalisation policy of the government, lack of entrenched policies and support for the poultry sector and lack of insurance cover on stock due to high risks as some of the factors contributing to the difficulties of the industry in the country. Mr. David Okine, Western Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, spoke about the need for support for the piggery and poultry industries since they have the answer to the protein deficiency problems of the people. He attributed the stagnation in the growth of poultry partly to lack of information among stakeholders and called for integrated approach to the various aspects of the sector.

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