An initiative to increase local poultry meat production was introduced last Friday by the international civil society organization Solidaridad West Africa and its allies.
The three-year project, known as “Better Chicken for a Better Future,” is being carried out in five districts in the Ashanti Region and is aimed at 500 smallholder poultry producers.
It will concentrate on bolstering the poultry industry by improving the value chain for locally raised and processed chicken, with the goal of creating a fully operational, inclusive, and integrated poultry meat value chain that offers respectable jobs and better incomes for small-scale poultry farmers in Ghana.
The initiative intends to solve issues that are impeding the local poultry business, such as rising feed costs, a shortage of high-quality inputs, such as day-old chicks due to subpar local hatcheries and vaccines, overuse of antibiotics, and weak connections between input providers and marketers.
A seven-member team from the Netherlands, including IGrowChicken, Hendrix Genetics, Schippers Export B.V., Transnational Agri, and Nutreco Africa, is carrying out the initiative. Solidaridad West Africa and AgriDEPOT are the local partners carrying it out locally.
The Bekwai Municipal, Bosomtwe, Atwima Kwanwoma, Amansie West, and Central districts in the Ashanti Region will serve as its experimental locations.
Out of the intended 500 smallholder farmers, 30 per cent of them would be women and youth.
The farmers who would benefit will have access to feed, hygiene supplies, and day-old chicks of high quality and competitive prices.
Training in best husbandry methods, farm management, agribusiness development, financial management, and life skills will also be helpful to farmers.
Speaking at the introduction of the initiative, the Regional Director of Solidaridad West Africa, Isaac Kwadwo Gyamfi, said the ‘Better Chicken for a Better Future Project’ dovetailed into the government’s programme of lowering the importation of frozen chicken and developing the local poultry sector.
He stated that “improving our self-sufficiency through lowering our reliance on imports and creating jobs in the Ghanaian poultry business is essential to national growth; a cause being championed by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture through the Rearing for Food and Jobs policy.”
The poultry industry is a significant and strategic industry, according to Abdul Rahaman Abdulai, acting policy officer at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana. The Netherlands will continue to support this industry through its agribusiness unit by facilitating business connections.
Our aim is to create a vertical system inside the poultry sector that encourages the integration of actors rather than autonomous company organizations that have strained relationships with other industry actors, he said, adding that the implementation is being done on a relatively small scale.