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Poultry farmers raise issues with unhealthy chicks being sold to them

The Ashanti Regional Association of Poultry Farmers have accused the Eastern Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Henry Crenstil of deliration of duty when he tried to rubbish the claims by the association that a hatchery in his region was selling unhealthy chicks to farmers.

The farmers accused the Park Agrotech Ghana Limited, an Indian hatchery based at Apedwa in the Eastern Region of selling unhealthy chicks to farmers.

These chicks have a high mortal rates thus making the farmers run at lost.

The farmers thus called on the Ministry of the Food and Agriculture to investigate the activities of the hatchery as it could collapse the poultry industry in the country.

Defence

However, in a follow up to the claim by the association, the Eastern Regional Director of MoFA, Mr Crenstil defended the company by saying that it “met acceptable standards”, thus disputing the claims of the farmers even though the report of the committee of enquiry set up by the sector minister was yet to be made public.

According to the association, the comments made by the Regional Director sought to pre-empt or sway the findings of the three-man Ministerial Committee set up by the sector minister to investigate the activities of the hatchery.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the former National Chairman of the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Kwadwo Asante, said even though the association has problems with how the committee went about its works, “we are of the view that it does not lie in the mouth of the regional director to say those things. If anything at all, he should have allowed the committee’s report to be made public before speaking on the matter.”

According to him, the association has no reason to lay false accusations at the company as “we know if the company collapses it will lead to job losses and create unemployment but we only want the truth.”

He said the farmers have taken loans to invest in their farms and could not allow their investment to go waste due to the negligence of supplier.

Mr Asante said the farmers have suffered similar fate from a defunct hatchery that supplied them with unhealthy chicks and later folded up, adding, “this time, we will not allow another foreign company to take us for granted. We will ensure that the right thing is done and if possible get a refund of our money.”

Unhealthy chicks

He said the association was surprised at the claims by the Managing Director of the company, Mr Lalif Mishra that the issue being complained off by the association was baseless.

According to Mr Asante, on February 24, 2017, the company supplied him with 4,000 chicks at around 10pm and by the following morning, more than 1,500 of the chicks died and were replaced by the company and wondered if the claims were false why then did the company replace the birds for him.

AVIAN LEUCOSIS

Still maintaining the claim by the association that the chicks supplied by the company were unhealthy, the Spokesman for the regional association, Mr Isaac Essiaw, said following the unexplained death of chicks experienced by the farmers, “we sent some of the dead birds to the Veterinary service department in the Kumasi for analysis and it was there that we were told the cause of death to be due to avian leucosis.”

He said Avian leucosis is not a management disease problem but that of breeding and only transmitted horizontally, that is from bird to bird or laterally, from the parents to the chicks.
Avian Leucosis is any of the group of diseases of poultry that are caused by strains of a retrovirus that involve disturbed blood formation and are distinguished individually by special manifestations as paralysis, tumour formation.

Like all retroviruses the virus is relatively weak and cannot survive well outside of the birds. Hence it is only transmitted via treading (mating), through the egg and through biting pests (such as Red Mites and biting flies).

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