Over-reliance of local poultry farmers, especially in the Ashanti Region, on imported day old chicks could, at least, reduce in the coming days.
This follows the establishment of a new hatchery at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
A majority of chicks in Ghana’s poultry industry are imported because farmers often complain that the local breeds are of low quality.
Available statistics show poultry farmers in Ghana import more than five million day old chicks every year since 2014 to meet the shortfall in local production.
The existing six hatcheries in Ghana have been under-performing; producing between 20 to 40 percent of their installed capacity.
But thanks to KNUST, local farmers have the option of buying quality day old chicks at their doorsteps.
The five thousand capacity hatchery and research centre is expected to overturn the trend of importing day old chicks.
Poultry Embryology and Chick Quality specialist at KNUST, Dr. Jacob Alhassan Hamidu is upbeat that the era of producing low-quality day old chicks could soon be over.
“We want that to stop. We will conduct proper research and we are going to be troubleshooting,” he said.
According to Dr Hamidu, farmers will be furnished with research outcomes to improve chick quality in order to compete globally.
“We will educate farmers on what exactly is going on in their hatcheries and how they can troubleshoot and optimise for quality chicks,” he assured.
Besides, imported day-old chicks cost about two or three times the local ones so the centre is convinced there will be no need to buy from the international market if they are cheaper and of good quality here.
About GH¢200,000 has been invested to revamp the hatchery to meet modern standards.
The incubation centre is also expected to help farmers optimise their incubation techniques to cut down on importation.
Meanwhile, outgoing vice chancellor of KNUST, Professor William Otoo Ellis implored the college to maximize the full potential of the hatchery.
Source: Ghana I Luv FM I Prince Appiah