Bird flu scare hits best entrepreneur

Poultry2Mr Akurugu Baba Johnson, the 2011 best entrepreneur in Ejisu in the Ashanti region has complained that the bird flu outbreak and the ban placed on the movement of birds from an infected area has scared many people from buying local poultry from Kumasi.

Mr Akurugu told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Kumasi that as a result, he has suffered great losses in his poultry business.

He explained that before the outbreak of the disease, he could sell about 400 birds (broilers) in a month but with the onset of the disease, even though his district was not affected, people refused to buy his poultry.

He used to send some number of local poultry to Accra for sale but since the outbreak he has lost his market in Accra and attributed the situation to misinformation by some FM stations in the region that local poultry in the region were infected with the bird flu and so no one should touch them.

Mr Akurugu, who is also a teacher at Bamang Roman Catholic primary, owns a farm known as Akurugu farms, located at Bonwire and he is into agro processing, piggery, and palm kernel oil, alongside the poultry farming.

Mr Akurugu said in March this year, he bought 2,000 birds, but was able to sell only 500 out of them, saying that, he had to destroy the rest because he was not getting market and could also not afford the poultry feed, which resulted in the birds growing very lean.

Mr Akurugu said he took a loan of GH¢10,000.00 from the Yaa Asantewaa Rural Bank in Ejisu and an uncle in Accra also supported with GH¢20,000.00 to enable him to buy the 2000 birds, but he has so far made GH¢6,000.00 from the 500 birds sold because he had to sell at a reduced price due to the bird flu scare.

He said the business advocacy centre in Ejisu promised him a grant of GH¢30,000.00 to support his business but he had not yet received it, adding that, as at now, he has only 150 layers.

He said the poultry farmers association in the region believes that such information was targeted at them to spoil the local poultry business so that importers of foreign poultry products could benefit.

Source: GNA

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