Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology takes steps to transform Ghana’s hatchery industry

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), would not relent in working with stakeholders to provide practical-based solutions to transform the hatchery industry, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, has assured.

“The core values of the University are inhibited in the spirit of excellence,” he said, adding that the involvement of the academia in harnessing the potentials and prospects of the poultry industry in general could not be overlooked.

The University’s Animal Science Department was ready to share its expertise, knowledge and technical know-how with key players in the industry to inject new ideas and bring efficiency in their practices at all levels of the poultry value chain, he affirmed.

According to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, this was necessary and also key to sustaining the livelihood of stakeholders in the industry as they struggled to compete favourably in the face of the importation of foreign products.

Prof. Owusu-Dabo was speaking in Kumasi, at the launch of a book entitled, “Poultry Hatchery Principles for Professionals – a Curriculum on Hatchery Management for Increased Productivity of the Poultry Sector in Ghana”.

The book was authored by Dr. Jacob Alhassan Hamidu, an Animal Scientist of the Department, and published by Nunders, a publishing firm, with funding from the Skills Development Fund (SDF).

The 122-page book deals with five major chapters encompassing ‘Hatchery and Breeder Management’, ‘Biosecurity in the Hatchery’, ‘Health and Hygiene Management’, ‘Hatchery Automation’, ‘Brooding of Day-Old Chicks and Nutrition’ as well as ‘Care of the Hatching Egg’.

Under Hatchery and Breeder Management, the book deals with the reproductive system of a hen and the egg laying process, stages and mechanisms of embryo development as well as the respiratory and nutrient absorption system of the developing chick.

It also looks at the anatomical stages in the chicks’ embryo development over 21 days, procedures to properly candle for fertile eggs and types of thermometer used in poultry.

Prof. Owusu-Dabo lauded the Department for the initiative as the book would serve as a reference for professionals seeking to advance best practices in the operations of the hatchery industry.

He advised stakeholders in the industry, especially poultry farmers to embrace new ideas in order to foster efficiency in their work.

The Reverend John Manu, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), was hopeful that the book would help open the door to consolidating the gains made by some hatcheries in Ghana in the production of quality day-old chicks for the industry.

“If the local capacity cannot supply the needed numbers of day-old chicks for our meat and egg production, the country has no option than to import these poultry products,” he lamented.

The Regional MoFA Director said the Government was determined to support the local poultry industry to grow in order to stem the importation of poultry products.

Dr. Alhassan Hamidu pointed out that the book was in line with efforts by the University authorities to enhance academic programmes at the Animal Science Department.

This would lead to promoting research and breeding of new ideas in the animal sciences to support industry, he argued, saying the poultry industry could only grow with the needed knowledge in the various fields of science for a successful business.

He estimated that the total consumption of chicken meat in Ghana currently was about 400,000 metric tonnes annually.

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