Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS) has cautioned poultry farmers to desist from the sale of eggs meant for hatchery to egg sellers who sold to the public to avoid any legal tussle.
According to the National Coordinator of GNECS, Comfort Kyerewa Acheampong, “now that we have the standards, legal action can be taken against anyone who indulges in the sale of eggs meant for incubation.”
She has, therefore, called on egg sellers to report any poultry farmer selling such eggs to the Secretariat for action to be taken, saying “the standards say do not sell eggs meant for incubation.”
Ms Acheampong was speaking in an interview at a two-day training on egg standards for 200 egg sellers, poultry farmers, nutritionists and feed millers.
Standards in eggs production, she underlined, included defects, weight sizes, labelling and packaging.
It was organised by GNECS in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The participants received training on topics such as the overview and relevance of standards to the poultry sector, edible egg-in-shell standards development and in-depth explanation of standards using pictorial edible egg-in-shell standards.
Ms Acheampong said, the training would enable stakeholders in the poultry value chain to match the benefits of eggs to the required standards for the edible and export market.
She stressed that the standards were produced together with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), about four years ago, “but it is now that the pictorial part is ready for us to educate all stakeholders in the poultry value chain.”
The Coordinator mentioned that eggs are super foods that have no limit and could be consumed at any time of the day, adding that by the close of this year, 2022, everybody in Ghana would be educated on the standards for all to embrace the consumption of egg.
Mr Victor Oppong Adjei, National Chairman of the Poultry Farmers Association, on his part, urged members to be abreast of the standards to ensure quality eggs were sold to the public.
He said without quality there could be no good price for the produce and with the standards available poultry farmers could now sell their produce across borders of the country.
Maribel Asomboya, a nutritionist with the GHS, noted that eggs are nutritious and have nothing to do with high cholesterol in the body.
She debunked the notion that pregnant women who consume eggs would give birth to children with big heads or wayward children, saying “these are all myths.”
Ms Asomboya touched on the raw consumption of eggs saying it was risky if the product was not properly cleaned as it could be contaminated by salmonella species, other enteric pathogens or other contaminants.
On his part, Mr Samuel Kwatia, an officer from the GSA, observed that lack of egg standards was a big challenge facing the poultry industry, and was full of praise for authorities to come out with one for Ghana.
He encouraged farmers and stakeholders in the poultry industry to align their products to meet the required standards for regional and international markets as well as local consumption.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI