Drop in maize price signals hope for Ghana’s poultry sector in 2024

The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) has said the current drop in the price of maize, the main commodity for poultry feed, is a sign that the sector will recover in 2024.

The relief comes after several years of concerns over the high cost of production, which includes the price of raw materials for animal feed production, particularly in 2022 and throughout the whole of last year.

GNAPF’s President, Victor Oppong Adjei, told B&FT that the price for a 50-kg bag of maize, which sold for GH¢280 throughout last year, is now GH¢200.

The drop in the price of maize, he said, positively impacted the farmgate price of chicken during the festive season.

“The white-colour broiler, depending on size, was sold at GH¢150 and GH¢70 for the brown colour at the farmgate. These are the highest amounts, which of course are different from retail prices on the market,” Mr. Oppong Adjei said.

The association maintains that high feed costs remain a major concern for both poultry and livestock industry players, as they have a cascading effect on poultry and meat consumers.

Middlemen may determine price stability

Mr. Oppong Adjei, however, explained that it remains unclear whether the price drop is a temporary one or will stay for the greater part of this year.

“What normally happens is that some middlemen take advantage of the current price and hoard the commodity for future price increases. These middlemen may, in the  long run create artificial shortages, which could bring farmers back to their knees,” he revealed.

Assurance from MoFA to stabilise prices

In December 2023, Food and Agriculture Minister Dr. Bryan Acheampong, at a meeting with the GNAPF, assured that the ministry will implement a stabilisation price tag on maize across the country in order to assist poultry farmers in reducing the cost of production.

Planned investments in poultry sector

At the Dakar II Summit in 2023, the government said it would invest some US$541 million to improve the local poultry industry, an assurance that was one of the key resolutions at the event.

This decision is expected to improve the local poultry industry and position it to curb rising imports, which are in excess of over US$600 million per year.

The investment is anticipated to accordingly increase local poultry production from the current 50,000 tonnes annually to the envisaged 450,000 tonnes.

Of the US$541 million, about US$69 million will be expended on feed mill expansion and upgrading to reduce poultry feed costs.

Also read: Backyard Poultry Farming: 7 Tips for Small-Scale Chicken Production

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