Checks by Luv News indicate that poultry farmers are challenged in accessing raw materials, especially yellow maize, to prepare feed for their animals.
The challenge has persisted for the past seven months. Maize is the most common cereal used in poultry diet due to its low fiber content, high-fat content and high sweetness.
The maize constitutes 60 to 70% of the poultry feed. Farmers prefer to use yellow maize for feed formulation for chickens.
According to the CEO of Rockland Farms, Edith Akorsah Wheatland, the yellow maize used as energy source in feed meals gives the egg yolk its bright yellow colour.
“If you ask any poultry farmer we prefer the yellow maize. The yellow maize gives you a yellow yolk besides that the weevil doesn’t like the yellow maize.
“Due to its colour, the chickens are attracted to eat more of the yellow maize. When you use the yellow maize to do your broiler formulation the colour of the meat changes” she said.
Due to the high demand of yellow maize by poultry farmers, prices keep increasing.
In the past two months, a bag of yellow maize has shot up from ¢360 to ¢380, while a bag of white maize has increased from ¢320 to ¢360.
Aunty Yaa, a corn dough seller, is worried the price will go up again.
“Due to the nutritional value of the yellow maize poultry framers prefer buying the yellow maize to the white maize and this has contributed to the increase in the price of yellow maize,” she said.
Skilled in identifying an egg with yellow yolk, Michael Yeboah, an egg vendor, explained he can tell when an egg had a white or yellow yolk just by looking at the shell of the eggs.
Some egg vendors observed the poor formulation of poultry feed has affected the quality and size of eggs. They also lamented that eggs in the market in recent times have poor shell quality and short shelf life.
Michael Yeboah for instance revealed, “the quality of the eggs declines in a week. I had to throw away two crates of eggs because it has gone bad”.
Another egg vendor observed that lately the shells of the eggs are brittle.
Poultry farmers said that access to yellow maize to prepare feed has been a big challenge.
CEO of Akoko Master, Frank Owusu Brobbey, their inability to feed the chickens with the right maize has contributed to the poor egg quality.
“Due to some experiences from some feed companies, most farmers prefer to prepare their own feeds. You buy the feeds and you don’t get the results. Getting raw materials to prepare feed especially maize for the past seven months has really been challenging. And it has really affected the cost of production,” he noted.
Mr Owusu Brobbey believes Ghana has the potential of exporting eggs to other countries if the challenge of feed is addressed.
”If only we have the infrastructure and we get the support from stakeholders and the government to help the poultry farmers, we can really export the eggs,” he emphasised.