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Poultry farmers want business from feeding programme

The Ghana Poultry Farmers Association has appealed to the government to expedite action on a proposal which seeks to introduce eggs to the daily meals of school children under the School Feeding Programme.

Mr. Stephen Owusu, Brong Ahafo regional chairman of the association, repeated the call at a durbar of chiefs and people of Asunsu No.1 in the Dormaa Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region. The gathering was part of a nationwide advocacy campaign to highlight the potential of adding eggs to the feeding programme.

Government in collaboration with the Dutch government in 2005 initiated the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP). Its stated long-term goal is to contribute to reducing poverty and enhancing food security in Ghana.

It also seeks to achieve the objectives of boosting domestic food production, increasing school enrolment, attendance and retention among kindergarten and primary school children, and reducing hunger and malnutrition, thus contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

But in recent times, civil society groups and some individuals have raised questions about the quality of the meals provided under the programme, especially their nutritional value. It is against this backdrop that the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association has over the last six months been knocking the doors for a partnership that will see the farmers supply eggs to the managers of the programme so as to enrich the meals with protein and improve the economic fortunes of poultry farmers.

As the major economic activity, farmers in the Dormaa area contribute about 35% of locally produced poultry products in the country. But the sector, which directly employs about 10,000 people, is inundated with scores of challenges.

A farmer, David Kwabena Ampofo said that “escalating cost of production and an unfriendly road network”are some of their most pressing challenges.

He also expressed concern about the indiscriminate erection of speed ramps on the Dormaa-Berekum stretch of the road, saying “the steep nature of the ramps cause high rate of breakages of the eggs, thereby reducing the interest of traders to do business there.”
BFT

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