The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) is to undertake a nationwide biometric registration exercise of poultry farmers to promote the local poultry business.
The Association is to embark on the registration exercise to enable it to collect reliable industry data to aid proper planning, to influence policy formulation, decision-making and implementation for the poultry sector.
“The current data we have on the poultry sector at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are unreliable, misleading and deceptive and this is what has necessitated the exercise”.
Mr Victor Oppong-Agyei, the President of the Association, made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Dormaa-Ahenkro, in the Dormaa Central Municipality of the Brong-Ahafo-Region.
He said the exercise is expected to cover the entire country with geolocation of poultry farms, farm capacity, the current stock quantity of layers and broilers, the quantity of maize used in producing poultry feed amongst other.
Mr Oppong-Agyei explained that approval had been given by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture MOFA for the start of the exercise, which had been awarded on contract to Agro Innova Company Limited, a Ghanaian company.
He said the exercise would be carried out in collaboration with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, who would play supervisory roles to ensure that standards are maintained in the industry.
“Every farm will have to register and the Association will direct how farmhouses are built to check the spread of diseases, and with a click we can with the GPS locate the farms where a disease had broken out”, Mr Oppong-Agyei said.
On funding of the exercise, Mr Oppong-Agyei said the poultry farmers would be levied to that effect, whilst the Ghana Poultry Project had also promised to offer some support.
Mr. Moses Mallaghan, Head of Operations of Agro Innova Company Limited said the exercise would be preceded by a two-week pilot project in Kumasi and Dormaa-Ahenkro, after which it would be rolled out to capture all poultry farmers in the country.
He said the exercise forms part of plans to revive the Association and revamp the poultry sector in the country.
Mr Mallaghan noted that, the initial plan was to seek funding from a non-governmental organization (NGO) for the exercise but it did not work out and therefore called on individual poultry farmers to show commitment by contributing towards the exercise.
“No amount of money from government or an NGO can solve the plights of the Ghanaian poultry farmers if the local Association is not revived,” he stated.
Mr. Mallaghan added that, they wanted to digitize the operation of the local poultry business, so that poultry farmers can make a data-driven business decision, become profitable and scalable.
He said Agro Innova was chosen for the project because the company runs a poultry management software called “Akokotakra” which enable poultry farmers to record, monitor, keep track and analyze all farms operations easily, using their smartphone or laptop.