ADB’s Credit Facility Will Boost Local Production – Says Enthused Poultry Farmers
The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association has expressed enthusiasm about properly utilizing the credit facility provided by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to the poultry industry.
According to the association, this benign act will go a long way to boost local poultry production and subsequently reduce importation.
On May 21, 2020, ADB announced a 500 million cedis loan facility to help poultry farmers from six regions within the country boost the operations.
To prove its willingness to fulfil its pledge, the bank first approved 25 million cedis for six broiler value chain players to produce and process over a hundred thousand birds per week in the Bono Region. The amount was aimed at catering for the initial phase of the project.
The move, according to the bank, is aimed at reducing the importation of chicken and to making Ghana’s poultry industry competitive. The gesture also forms part of efforts to help strengthen Ghana’s livestock sector.
Speaking for the association, the President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko-Ampem lauded ADB for the support. He however urged the bank to disburse the funds through the appropriate means to ensure the effective achievement of its objective.
“It can bring down the importation of poultry if it is done in such a way that the actual beneficiaries receive the money. How the money is disbursed is also a factor. I have always advocated for the money to be disbursed through associations because they know the poultry farmers,” he said.
He further suggested that “the co-chain facility must also be provided whether by adb or through an investor or by government so that when the birds are arranged, there is a place to hold them before consumers buy them.”
Currently, Ghana’s annual import of chicken stands at over 300 million dollars. This translates into five million chicken production, weekly.
Again, this is to help government achieve its promise of increasing local production and eventually banning importation by the year 2023.
Revamping the Poultry Sector in Ghana
Livestock production is an important feature of the country’s agriculture, accounting for 14% of agricultural GDP.
According to the Animal Production Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana currently imports over 240,000 Megatonne of meat that is, chicken, beef and others to make up for its meat deficit costing the country over 375 million dollars annually.
The National demand for poultry meat alone is about 400,000 Megatonne with local production of just about 57,871 Megatonne. This is an indication that the import of poultry meat is about 180,000 Megatonne with a shortfall of 162,129 Megatonne.
It has been identified that broiler meat importation constitutes over 80% of total meat imports into the country and broiler production has also been identified as the fastest means of reducing meat imports through local production or import substitution.
In June last year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) Initiative in Wa, Upper West Region under the theme “Self-Sufficiency in Meat Production – a Must”
The RFJ initiative is to modernize and transform agriculture for food, jobs and foreign exchange through the rearing of livestock such as poultry, cattle, sheep, goats among others. The target of this initiative for the poultry sector is to produce 40,000 Megatonne of broiler meat on a pilot basis in 2020 and scale up production in subsequent years.