FOR the first time in a long run, availability rather than cost, risks denying some households access to chicken and other poultry proteins during the Yuletide celebrations.
It follows a historic delay in poultry imports into the country from key markets such as the United States of America (USA), Brazil and the European Union (EU), as a result of disruptions to the global container shipping industry.
A market intelligence report by the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG) has established that the situation had pushed orders meant to meet Christmas demands into the second week of January and raising concerns over a looming shortage in poultry products during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
The chamber said the development had huge implications on the price of poultry, a key protein source for the country, especially during the Yuletide.
When the Graphic Business checked up with the local poultry industry, farmers said they were aware of the looming shortage but lacked the capacity to fill in the gap.
They mentioned the short time frame and the high cost of operation, particularly feed, as the bottlenecks that would make it impossible for them to benefit from the challenge.
The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) said the time frame was too short for its members to salvage the situation, as it takes seven-to-eight weeks to produce birds for consumption.
It further explained that due to the high cost of production, its members would not even be able to meet the 40 per cent demand for locally produced birds during the festivities, talkless of filling in any void to be occasioned by disruptions to imports.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CAG, Mr Anthony Morrison, in an interview with the Graphic Business in Accra on December 11, observed that the assessment of the chamber showed that with regard to the huge tonnes of containers delayed on the international sea, Ghanaians were likely to see a price hike in frozen chicken and other imported goods during this Christmas.
“With this development, we should be seeing a price increase in imported frozen chicken between 25 per cent and 30 per cent going into Christmas.”
“We may not get those goods in by the time of the yuletide and the earliest they may arrive would be the second week of January 2022,” he said.
Mr Morrison indicated that the chamber expects local poultry farmers to be able to take advantage of the opportunity that will be created for the demand for chicken during the period.
“We expect that from February to April next year, we should have excess imported frozen chicken in the market and this will add up to the woes of the local farmers in 2022.
“Already imported poultry products in the market are about 60 per cent cheaper than locally produced chicken and therefore, should the delayed imports arrive in a month, there is likely to be excess poultry, a phenomenon which will aggravate the already dire position of local farmers.
He urged the government to take the needed steps to protect domestic poultry production from foreign competition, if only the country sought to industrialise.
The Vice-President of the GNAPF, Mr Napoleon Agyemang Oduro, stated that the local poultry farmers were not in a good position to meet demand this Christmas.
“Granted that import has been delayed and it takes seven to eight weeks to produce birds for the market while Christmas is about 12 days away, it will be difficult to adjust,” he said.
He said the farmers have not been able to produce enough birds for the market this Christmas like they used to do in the past due to high operational cost.
“I can even assure you that we are currently in business not because we want profit but to sustain the market because there are still some Ghanaians who want to kill the birds by themselves.”
“In 2021 alone, cost of production for broilers has increased by over 100 per cent and that is a disadvantage for producers to invest their capital and make losses at the end,” he said.
He said due to the high cost of production, local birds would be priced between GH¢70 and GH¢100 at the market during the yuletide.
He appealed to the government to introduce a soft loan scheme for poultry farmers to access patient funds, scale up production and create jobs to support the economy.
Decline to speak
Several attempts to get some of the importers to speak on the issue officially proved futile.
Those who agreed to speak also pleaded anonymity but confirmed that most of the orders for Christmas have been delayed, signaling what is expected in the coming days and weeks.
That notwithstanding, they said there was stock available to serve the market.
Poultry imports to Ghana keep increasing due to increasing demand and the decline in domestic commercial poultry meat production.
Ghana poultry imports are supplied mainly from the United States, Brazil and the EU.
Supplies from the United States capture over 40 per cent of market share, while European countries and Brazil have 25 per cent each of the market share.
Consumption patterns of households in the country are heavily weighted towards imported frozen poultry products.
The reasons for this trend are that they are cheaper than locally produced poultry and they are already pre-cut: leg quarters and wings, and processed whole chicken and gizzards.
Earnings from yam exports could hit $78m using Geographical Indications
Revenue generation and sources of development funding are the most topical issues currently dominating public discourses in the country.
Various development stakeholders are, therefore, required to assist policymakers in search of innovative solutions to the nation’s economic and financial heartaches.
It is against this background that those working in the Industrial Property Right (IPR) protection space wish to uncover some low-hanging revenue fruits that the nation could innovatively harvest.
Geographical Indications (GIs) are signs used on products from a particular geographical origin with specific qualities or a reputation that are essentially attributed to the place of origin.
This form of intellectual property protects the uniqueness, reputation and other characteristics that easily differentiate a product from other similar ones on the market.
The GIs largely protect food and non-food products, especially of rural origin. The GIs increase revenues for local producers and satisfy the needs of conscious and demanding customers.
The system facilitates the originality of producers and improves the quality of production using various branding tools in the form of origin labelling and Collective Trademarks.
Over 3,400 GI products have been registered within the EU, 320 in India and about 2,533 in China. Africa largely has potential products for instance, in Cameroun, Ethiopia, Morocco, Mozambique and Guinea, with few registered as GI products.
A worldwide study in 2018 on the economic impact of GIs showed that on the average, prices doubled (in some cases tripled) for products compared with similar products that are not GI registered.
French GI cheeses are sold at an average of two euros per kilo more than French non-GI cheeses. French “Poulet de Bresse” (a type of chicken) has a market price four times higher than regular French chicken.
Producers of Italian “Tuscano” olive oil have managed to increase prices for their olive oil by 20 per cent since it was registered as a GI in 1998.
In other instances, the case of a traditionally not-export-oriented country like Spain is striking: in 1991 (five years after accession to the EU), exports of GI products amounted to 443 million euros and in 1999 more than 1.0 billion euros.
Unique case of pona
The yam crop (Dioscorea spp.) is an important crop generating income for over 60 million people.
Nigeria and Ghana are the leading producers in the world. Global yam production increased from 15.3 million tonnes in 1971 to 74.8 million tonnes in 2020.
Ghana produces about eight million tonnes of yam annually. The country’s yam production has increased significantly over the period. In 2018 and 2019, production was about 7,858,209 and 8,288,198 metric tonnes compared with previous years.
Yams from Ghana are mainly exported to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Italy and the United States.
The main varieties exported include: #1. Pona, #2. Larebako, #3. Asana, #4. Dente and #5. Muchumudu.
Although Nigeria produces high volumes of yam (over 70 per cent of global production), Ghana exports more yam in the sub-region.
There is continuous demand for fresh yam produce from West Africa in Europe, North America and in some parts of Asia.
Global exports of Yam were valued at US$177M. As the lead exporter of Yam, Ghana has a world share of 22.1 per cent with our export value to the global markets as at 2019 standing at US$39.1M.
The unique characteristics of a product is critical in building a successful GI system.
The exportable varieties of Ghanaian yams mentioned above are noted to be of high quality in both domestic and export markets, with the “Pona” variety mostly preferred due to its unique taste, the texture, and colour of flesh after cooking.
The characteristic taste is most preferred. Others include the origin, (which is Ghana) and the size of the tuber as same sizes are carefully selected for the export market. These features form the “specific product quality”, which is key for a successful GI or origin product.
The annual value of agri-food products protected as GIs within the European Union stands at €27.34 billion.
Ghana can earn more than twice the current export value in foreign exchange from export of yam annually. The current export value of yam is about US$39.1million.
The country could earn twice this current value for the same export volumes at same price if the Yams were protected with GIs. Having an origin label would augment prices on the global market at over $78M.
It is highly projected that this figure would increase as the countries of export may drastically increase through the current arrangement within the international corridors of trade between Ghana and her partners within the intellectual property structures for origin labelling.
The Industrial Property Office of the Registrar General’s Department has the overall mandate to identify, develop, register and protect origin labelled products for Ghana.
With the current existing legal environment, Ghana must, as a matter of urgency, support the relevant agencies of state to harness this great opportunity to benefit the nation.
This will help to improve her food systems, while creating lots of decent jobs and employment for the teaming youth.
Source: Graphic Online
Prepare for hunger in Ghana – GAWU warns
Ghanaians should prepare for hunger this year if immediate steps are not taken by the government to invest in the agriculture sector of the economy, the General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Mr Edward Kareweh, has said.
In his view, there is a deliberate attempt to reduce agriculture output in Ghana due to the low investments in the sector.
Contributing to a discussion on the impact of the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine on food supply in Ghana, Mr Kareweh said on TV3’s New day show with Johnnie Hughes on Monday May 16 that “As we speak, the food you are eating was not produced in 2022. There will be hunger, already there is hunger and the hunger will be more because I don’t foresee government getting money to support farmers to produce.”
He added “there is deliberate policy to reduce out put. When you refuse to invest what are you doing?”
He further said that Ghana does not have enough food available to feed the people for even one month without importing more food commodities.
The reality is that a lot of food items are imported into the country therefore, when upheavals and other economic challenges occur in those countries, automatically they become Ghana’s issues, Mr Kareweh added.
“The realty is that we do not have enough food in this country. The reality is that we import so much into this country. So if there is a problem in those country you import those problems,” he said.
Pig farmers attribute hike in price of pork to high cost of feed
The Pig Farmers Association of Ghana is attributing the recent increase in the price of pork per kilo to the increase in the ingredients for feed, among other factors.
The Association says it has resorted to some price adjustments of between 15% and 23% to make up for the rise in feed prices.
“As the leadership of the Association, we cannot sit unconcern and watch while businesses of our members fold up as a result of an increase in feed prices and in some cases feed shortage, the reason we have increased the prices per kilo of pork,” President of the Association Kwame Appiah Danquah told Citi News.
“Food ingredients have gone extremely high, and some farmers have decided to fold up, so we did the calculations and decided on price adjustment between 15% to 25%. These adjustments will only keep us in business and not make profit till things change then we can start making profit,” Kwame Appiah Danquah added.
The leadership also expressed worry over what they say is neglect by government for the sector and the fact that they also struggle in getting retail outlets in the various malls to purchase their products.
“We are worried that the government has not been supporting us as expected. One of our challenges is the fact that we cannot get the retail outlets at the mall to purchase our products, and they prefer the foreign products to ours” the President of the Pig Farmers Association said.
The association wants government to consider importing some of the feed ingredients to make up for the scarcity.
“We have not only been struggling with price fluctuation, but also the issue of availability of feed. The feed initially used to come regularly, but we don’t know what changed, and we are hoping government will support by importing the feed to support the ones here. We are sometimes forced to slaughter our animals for lack of feed and this is not good,” the President of the association said.
Some members of the association across the country have expressed varied opinions on how the sector should be run and how government can meet them halfway.
The Central Regional Chairman of the Association who is also the National Secretary of the Association, Ing. George Ayarik expressed worry over why the government’s Rearing for food initiative has not partnered with the association to feed the second cycle institutions with pork, which according to them is no a protein source.
“I was fed on pork during my secondary school days, but I don’t know what changed, and I am urging the government to support us. This will also ease the burden on the other meat supplies such as chicken, beef among others,” the National Secretary said.
The Volta Regional Chairman of the Association, Alexander Kay Jay, urged members of the Association to consider pig farming as a business in other to make returns.
“I want to urge my colleagues to take pig farming as a business because it is only through this that we can survive.”
Source: Citinewsroom. com
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