A national association established to represent the interest of animal feed production in the country has been inaugurated in Accra with a pledge to deliver a strong feed manufacturing industry that can support the government's agenda of revamping agriculture.
Known as the Association of Feed Millers of Ghana (AFMOG), the AFMOG would partner with relevant agencies and stakeholders to design an industry standards and codes of practice that comply with all food safety requirements to help achieve its pledge.
The association is also to promote safe and affordable poultry, livestock and acquaculture products through the use of scientific research, technology and industry best practice.
The President of AFMOG, Mr Kwame Tufour, who made the pledge at the inauguration of the association in Accra, stated that the association was expected to act as the voice of the industry, engaging, cooperating and liaising with the government, value chain actors and key stakeholders to promote and protect the interests of feed millers and the feed industry in general.
He said the feed manufacturing industry was an important component of Ghana’s agro-food economy and an active partner in the nation’s food safety and security system.
Read: Invest in scientific research into agriculture
Formulation of AFMOG
On the theme, Enhancing Food Security through the Sustainable Development of the Animal Feed Industry, the inauguration served as a platform for players in the industry to share their views on how best to improve the association.
With current membership of 21 manufacturers made-up of small medium and large-scale enterprises, AFMOG continues to admit new members.
The association is managed by an executive secretary and governed by an executive council elected by its members.
Read: Commercialising scientific research findings: A tool for economic transformation
Among other functions, AFMOG is also to serve as the information nerve centre of the industry for the collection, classification and dissemination of technical, managerial, statistical and governmental information.
According to Mr Tufour, the association will in no doubt serve as the necessary catalyst to coordinate sector firms and allied actors to consolidate the momentum generated over the years.
“Constituting this group at this time is important for improved feed operations and services’ including innovative technologies, regulations and standards that can sustainably grow the industry.
“The AFMOG would provide the platform for networking of members as well as advocacy for policies that will advance not only the feed industry but the poultry and livestock sector as a whole,” he said.
Ready to partner
The Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), Mr Victor Oppong Adjei, in a speech read on his behalf, said the GNAPF was ready to partner AFMOG in increasing poultry sector productivity and promote sustainable development of the agricultural sector.
He said given that some of the poultry farmers undertook their own milling, GNAPF deeply appreciated the challenges feed millers faced daily, particularly in primary input sourcing and balancing costs to produce reasonably priced feed for buyers.
“It is our firm belief that as the leadership of the association works hard to improve the lot of members, their focus will also be drawn to the quality standards in their operations to reassure poultry producers of reliable productivity with regard to commercial feed formulations.”
The Chief of Party of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) Ghana Poultry Project (GPP), Ms Carianne de Boer, stated that the formation of the group came at a crucial time when several agricultural value chains faced existential challenges triggered by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
She said the livestock industry stood a great chance to benefit from a stronger and more organised feed sector in Ghana.
“It is our hope that AFMOG will build effective advocacy pathways toward an improved enabling environment for Ghana's agricultural sector.”
Commending the association, a Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Asante Krobea, noted that the government was committed to support the feed industry to contribute significantly to the survival and growth of the country’s agriculture sector.
“Should all the value chain actors work together, they will be able to address challenges in that industry for their businesses to thrive.
“It is often difficult to operate as individuals in a very challenging environment as we find ourselves, and so we want to encourage them to collaborate and ensure quality standards are adhered to in the industry,” he added.