Solidaridad, an international civil society organization, and its partners have launched a three-year poultry project to promote an inclusive and integrated poultry meat value chain that provides decent jobs and better incomes for small-scale farmers in Ghana.
The project, piloted in four districts in Ashanti Region, including Atwima Kwanwoma, Amansie West, Amansie Central, Bosomtwe, and Bekwai, will focus on strengthening the poultry business by enhancing the value chain for locally raised and processed chicken.
A total of 500 farmers, 30 percent of whom are women and youth would be targeted under the project dubbed “Better Chicken for a Better Future,” with funding from the Netherland Enterprise Agency.
Mr. Isaac Gyamfi, the Regional Director, Solidaridad West Africa, speaking at the project launch in Kumasi, said the national demand for poultry meat alone is about 400,000 metric tonnes, with local production meeting only 14 percent.
Chicken project to create decent jobs for Ghanaians
He said the importation of frozen chicken accounted for 45 percent, with the remainder recorded as the shortfall, adding that the share of imports in the domestic consumption of poultry meat has increased enormously in the last decades.
“Reducing the dependency on imports and creating jobs in the Ghanaian poultry sector to improve our self-sufficiency is critical to national development, a campaign being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture through the Rearing for Food and Jobs Policy.”Mr. Isaac Gyamfi
He said Solidaridad’s long-standing experience in increasing access to finance to smallholder farmers through its Village Savings and Loans Association scheme, coupled with their existing partnerships with key financial institutions in the country, would ensure access to financial services was not a barrier for beneficiary farmers.
“Through the support of all stakeholders, we are going to demonstrate that if the needed investment is injected into the broiler industry through private and public sector partnerships, we can create a competitive and efficient poultry industry that creates employment for the teeming Ghanaian youth and improve the livelihoods of farmers.”Mr. Isaac Gyamfi
Ghana’s poultry sector, a crucial strategic industry
Mr. Abdulai Abdul Rahman, Ag Policy Officer, Embassy of the Netherlands, said the Embassy considered Ghana’s poultry sector a crucial strategic industry and would continue to provide the needed support to the sector through its agribusiness unit by facilitating business linkages.
He said the Embassy was looking forward to fruitful project implementation and expressed the hope that it would become a successful venture that would create decent jobs and increase beneficiaries’ income.
“Although being implemented on a relatively small scale, our goal is to establish a vertical system within the poultry business that promotes the integration of actors rather than independent business entities that have weak relationships with other industry actors.”Mr. Abdulai Abdul Rahman
The project is implemented by a consortium of seven Ghanaian and Dutch partners – IGrowChicken, Hendrix Genetics, Schippers Export B.V, Transnational Agri, Nutreco Africa, Solidaridad West Africa, and AgriDEPOT being the local partners.
Beneficiaries will access quality but competitive day-old chicks, feed and hygiene products, and training on best husbandry practices, farm management, agribusiness development, financial management, and life skills.
The expectation is that challenges crippling the poultry industry, such as skyrocketing feed prices, lack of quality inputs, abuse of antibiotics, and poor linkages between input suppliers and marketers, would be addressed.