World Egg Day offers a unique opportunity to help raise awareness on the benefits of eggs. It is celebrated globally on the second Friday in October each year. The day was established at the Vienna 1996 conference. For centuries, eggs have played a major role in feeding families around the globe. They are unbeatable when it comes to versatility and top-quality protein at an affordable price. In deed research has shown that eggs constitute an excellent source of choline, essential in memory and brain development. Regular eggs in take play a key role in disease prevention and contribute well-being in later life, particularly in relation to eyesight and maintenance of the body.
In Ghana, the day is being observed country wide in the ten administrative capitals. The theme for the celebration is “think eggs.” Indeed, it offers a unique opportunity for the public to ponder and discuss the benefits of egg consumption.
It will also draw the attention of policy makers, implementers and stakeholders in the sector to fashion out more proactive ways of up scaling funding, production and consumption of eggs. According to the Executive Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers, John Torto, the average Ghanaian consumes between 12 to 18 eggs per year. This is indeed woefully inadequate considering the enormous nutritional values, for the growth of the body.
The current production level of about five million of eggs produced on daily basis falls far below the average in view of the fact that the country has a population of more than 26 million. Indeed the distribution of eggs to selected schools in all the ten regions of the country is a step in the right direction. This will help the youth to develop the interest and habit of consuming eggs.
The targeting of schools under the National School Feeding Programme is appropriate in that, it will encourage the programme to add eggs to meals provided for school pupils. Indeed the upscale of the production of eggs will not only generate employment but increase the per capital income of the country and more foreign exchange.
There is the need for government to increase the current budgetary support to the poultry sub-sector. Activities outlined to mark the day such as floats, symposium and the engagement of experts to deliver speeches on the need to consume eggs will give a better understanding of the benefits of eggs consumption.
The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers need to go beyond the mere observance of the day and strive to engage rural communities in more educative programmes. They should also form cooperatives to undertake large scale production for both local and the international markets. The time to act is now for tide and time wait for no man.
BY: YAHAYA KWAMOAH, A JOURNALIST.