The Poultry Farmers Association within the Juaboso District of the Western Region have entreated the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to provide more extension officers to the area.
This they said would help to bring to bear their expertise and prompt assistance in raising yields in the poultry farming business.
The association pointed out that the inadequate number of agricultural extension officers and veterinary officers continued to cost them a great deal since most of their best birds died without any medical assistance.
According to them, the number of birds that died per poultry farm in Juaboso last year ranged between 10 to 500 which could have been minimised with an increased extension and veterinary officers.
They mentioned coccidiosis, new castle, chronic respiratory and gambono as the most common diseases that affected birds in the area.
These came to light in a research document copied the Ghana News Agency and conducted by the Juaboso Poultry Farmers Association on the “effects of extension/veterinary services on poultry farming in the Juaboso district” for 23 farmers in the districts.
The research work was supported by Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (Fund) with funds from DANIDA, USAID, DFID and European Union.
The association said, the few available officers wanted their transportation cost and other bills to be footed by the farmers on compulsory basis as against regular visits to the farms by the veterinary and extension officers for care and advice.
According to the farmers, poultry feed was also becoming more and more expensive which impeded their ability to produce on a large scale basis as Ghana dreamt of halting the importation of poultry products which may have been kept for years in their home region.
The farmers procure their feeds such as soya bean, wheat bran, maize and layer mash from Asawinso and Wiawso in the Western Region, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Association believed the problem of inadequate agricultural extension officers coupled with the lack of veterinary officers could be addressed with proper collaboration between the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), the District Assembly, Ministry for Food and Agriculture and the National Service Secretariat to post graduates to districts and communities to improve on farming.
The group also advocated constant engagement between the poultry farmers and the extension officers, regular trainings and workshops on poultry farming and modern techniques for growth and sustainability of their business.