A former Director General of the Ghana Health Services (GHS), Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, has called on poultry farmers to institute a recommended retail price for eggs to make it affordable to consumers.
World Egg Day is celebrated every second Friday of October after it was established in 1996 in Vienna, Austria, at the International Egg Commission (IEC) Conference.
The day was designed to raise awareness of the benefits of eggs to humans as the only rich and cheapest source of protein, vitamin and minerals.
This year’s celebration, which was sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, is the third to be held in Ghana and it attracted farmers and various stakeholders.
The ceremony began with a float from Mantse Agbona, James Town in Accra to the forecourt of the Parliament House amid music and dancing, while fliers with information on egg were distributed to residents and other road users.
Later, some students from the Accra Polytechnic prepared over 40 recipes with eggs for consumers to appreciate the versatility, taste and nutrition value of eggs.
Expressing worry over the low egg consumption in Ghana, Prof. Akosa said, “data shows that about 12 to 20 eggs are consumed per person in Ghana per annum, and this is not helping the industry”.
He said in the United States of America (USA) 300 eggs were consumed per head each year, while in the United Kingdom (UK) a person consumed 200 eggs at the end of the year and 360 eggs were consumed per person in India.
“That is why their life expectancy is higher. They live long because they eat more eggs unlike us,” Prof. Akosa said.
Although Ghana’s poultry industry contributes substantially to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the industry is bedevilled with challenges including poor demand for local products and low consumption.
The trend is usually attributed to some misconception of bad cholesterol associated with eggs.
Dr Akosa explained that the cholesterol issue in egg was not a health problem, saying: “It has been proven through scientific research that cholesterol from egg does not increase cholesterol levels in humans.”
According to him, consuming more eggs is very healthy as it balanced diets, adding that, “eggs are high in protein. An egg is a whole balanced meal with all the nutrients such as protein, fats, vitamins and antioxidants”.
He said eggs were perfect food for, particularly, children, pregnant women and the aged but they were ironically victims of the misconceptions and myths surrounding eggs in Ghana.
“Eggs are good for foetal development, healthy brain development, improved concentration levels and also supports the body’s immune system,” Prof. Akosa added.
The President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), Mr Victor Oppong Adjei, said as part of measures to demystify the negative perceptions of egg, the association would be embarking on a series of events to create awareness of the health benefits of eating at least an egg a day.