The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has renewed its quest to provide qualitative support to Ghana’s poultry industry.
The Department of Animal Science at the College has installed new incubators to produce day-old chicks and to aid research activities.
“KNUST being a leading technology centre will help the farmers to optimize their incubation techniques and cut down on importation,” said Dr. Jacob Alhassan Hamidu, hatchery specialists and project leader.
Ghana has a number of hatcheries but available research indicates that day-old chicks produced from these hatcheries are of low quality.
Poultry farmers therefore resort to imports from Europe and other international markets to stay competitive.
The newly commissioned Olympio Hatchery at the animal science department is expected to help reduce these imports, which cost 2-3times higher than the local chicks.
The hatchery has an initial investment of 170,000 cedis with the capacity to produce 5,000 eggs.
Dr. Alhassan Hamidu said the industry will be supported with information and education to produce high quality chicks.
“If the industry takes the message that is coming from here, they are going to incubate and get higher chick quality that will put confidence in the farmers to keep buying from them… with these machines and some of the best practices that we’ve put in place, if they are applied in commercial hatcheries and farmers are buying from that, it will cut down on importation of day-old chicks,” he stated.
Poultry geneticist, Dr. Oscar Olympio, said it is high time Ghana focused on producing parent stock of day-old chicks to wean the poultry industry off imports.
“We can have our own grand-parent stock and parent stock and have commercial chicks locally bred in Ghana. We can start on a small scale and then we build up; if we need equipment, we buy them year after year, then one day we also become as big as the multinationals,” he said.
Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, Prof. William Otoo Ellis charged the animal science department to maintain and transform the hatchery to increase the benefits.
By Kofi Adu Domfeh | 3news.com | Ghana