More than 3,000 poultry farmers across the country are looking to cut their losses as a collapse in demand for eggs has left them searching for buyers for more than half a billion crates of eggs.
A member of the national executive of the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association, Kofi Brobbey Kyei told the Business24 that over the past one month, farm gate prices of eggs have dropped by more than 30 percent.
“Previously I was selling an average tray of egg for about 16 cedis but now the price has fallen to about 12 or 13 cedis depending on the quantity purchased. We have gotten to a stage where we don’t pay so much attention to the price because we risk the eggs going bad altogether,” he said.
Mr. Kyei who is also the Managing Director of Aglow Farms in Accra blamed the coronavirus pandemic which has eroded demand for the eggs produced across the country.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, the poultry farmers had hoteliers and educational institutions among their lead customers. But following the subsequent restrictions imposed on these institutions, demand for eggs has struggled.
“We have been talking to the National Food Buffer Stock Company. Unfortunately for them, with their way of marketing their produce through the school feeding programme, the shut down of schools means they cannot sell their stock not to mention taking more from us,” he stated.
With final year students in first and second cycle institutions set to resume school later this month, Mr. Kyei urged the government to consider purchasing more eggs from local farmers as a way of bailing out the sector from the distress situation it finds itself.
At the moment, the poultry farmers are desperate to find buyers for their produce urging corporate and individuals as well to reach out to the farmers for eggs at slashed prices.
“We are trying to reduce prices to enable people who find price as an issue not to eat eggs to be able to buy. Sometimes even if you slashed down the price by about 50 percent, you hardly get market for your produce.
It is a very disturbing situation and we are only hoping that demand for the produce will improve, otherwise, farmers may be compelled to sell their birds to cut down on egg production,” he said.
According to him, the dire predicament of poultry farmers is taking a toll on poultry feed producers as they are unable to procure feed due to poor sales. He added that the survival of the poultry farmers is crucial for the poultry value chain.