The price of eggs in the Bono Region, considered to be one of the hubs for the production of the commodity, has risen by about 50 per cent within the last two months, causing concerns among poultry industry players.
The price of a crate of egg, which was between GH¢13 and GH¢18 in November last year, depending on the size of the eggs, is now between GH¢20 and GH¢25.
Wholesalers in the region have expressed concern about the situation, especially the decision by customers in Accra and Tamale not to allow them to deliver their weekly consignments due to the high price of the product, which includes transportation, handling and other associated costs.
Apart from the wholesalers, boiled and fried egg vendors on the streets, markets and lorry stations are also complaining about low patronage.
Madam Grace Osei Tutu, a wholesaler at the Sunyani Market, told the Daily Graphic that “many of us are not able to sell to our customers in the other regions as it used to be”.
She explained that the price was increased due to the high cost of maize, soybeans and other ingredients used in the production of poultry feed.
Another dealer at the Chiraa Station in Sunyani, Ms Felicia Biyaa, suggested to the government to subsidise the price of maize and soybeans.
“Egg is not only a delicacy; it is also a source of protein for the poor, children, the youth and the aged,” she said, adding that the escalating price of the commodity was gradually making it a preserve for the rich.
For her part, the Sunyani Market Egg Queen, Madam Deborah Gyamfi, urged the government to reduce the exportation of maize to neighbouring countries.
“In the past, I was able to sell about six crates of boiled eggs a day, but patronage is very slow now, making it very difficult for me to sell even two crates a day,” a vendor, Ama, said.
She said before November last year, a boiled egg was sold at 60Gp or 70Gp and a crate about GH¢15, but “now a boiled egg is GH¢1 and a crate GH¢23”.
When contacted, an executive member of the Dormaa Poultry Farmers Association, Nana Afosi Ababio, said a 130-kilogramme bag of maize, which used to sell at GH¢150 before November last year, was currently being sold at GH¢250.
Besides, he said, a 50-kilogramme bag of soybeans, which sold at GH¢150, now went for GH¢210, and attributed the rise in price to low yield by farmers during the dry season last year.
Nana Ababio explained that between 55 and 60 per cent of poultry feed (concentrate) was maize, compelling farmers to increase the price of eggs to cover the cost.
On the way forward, he called on the government to either scrap or reduce import duties on maize and soybeans to encourage importers to bring in more of the staples into the country.
“We are now in January; we have a long way to go before the harvest of maize in the main season in 2021. If nothing is done about the situation, we will be compelled to further increase the current price of eggs and other poultry products,” he said.
Nana Ababio further called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to put in measures to mitigate the situation, saying “the poultry industry will be doomed if the prices of maize and soybeans continue to rise”.