Solidaridad, an international civil society organization, and its partners have launched the Better Chicken for a Better Future project in a brief ceremony in Kumasi.
The three-year (2021 to 2024) project seeks to create a fully functioning, inclusive and integrated poultry meat value chain that provides decent jobs and better incomes for small-scale poultry farmers in Ghana.
It will focus on strengthening the poultry business by enhancing the value chain for locally raised and processed chicken.
The project, which will be piloted in the Bekwai Municipal, Bosomtwe, Atwima Kwanwoma and the Amansie West and Central districts of the Ashanti region, will empower 500 farmers — including 30% women and youth — with access to quality but competitive day-old chicks, feed and hygiene products. This will be achieved through the operation of the project’s breeder farm, hatchery and feed mill.
Farmers will also benefit from training on best husbandry practices, farm management, agribusiness development, financial management and life skills, among others.
This is aimed at addressing the challenges that are crippling the poultry industry, such as skyrocketing feed prices; lack of quality inputs such as day-old chicks due to poor quality local hatcheries and vaccines, abuse of antibiotics, and poor linkages between input suppliers and marketers. Others include limited processing and cold chain facilities; high cost of local poultry production and inability to meet consumer preferences and competition from imported poultry products.
The national demand for poultry meat is about 400,000 metric tonnes, with local production meeting only 14% of it. The importation of frozen chicken accounts for 45% with the remainder recorded as the shortfall. Over the last decades, the share of imports in the domestic consumption of poultry meat has increased enormously.
Project objective and its alignment with the Government of Ghana policy
Speaking at the launch of the project, the Regional Director of Solidaridad West Africa, Isaac Kwadwo Gyamfi, said “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 championed by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture through the Rearing for Food and Jobs policy”.
He said the ‘Better Chicken’ project aligns with the government’s policy.
Solidaridad’s role under the project
“Solidaridad’s long-standing experience in increasing access to finance to smallholder farmers through our Village Savings and Loans Association scheme coupled with our existing partnerships with key financial institutions in the country will ensure that access to formal financial services is not a barrier for beneficiary farmers to produce sustainably,” Mr Gyamfi said.
He indicated that Solidaridad and its partners will demonstrate that if the needed investment is injected into the broiler industry through private and public sector partnerships, a competitive and efficient poultry industry can be created to provide employment for the teeming Ghanaian youth and improve the livelihoods of farmers.
The project is being supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and aligns with the policies of the Dutch Government and embassy, which is looking at developing a long-term competitive poultry sector.
Abdul Rahaman Abdulai, Ag Policy Officer, at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, said the Embassy considers Ghana’s poultry sector as an important and strategic industry and will continue to provide the needed support to the sector, through its agribusiness unit, by facilitating business linkages.
“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,” he said.
The embassy, he noted, is looking forward to a fruitful project implementation and hopes that the Better Chicken for a Better Future project becomes a successful venture that creates decent employment and increases the income of beneficiaries in Ghana.
The project is being implemented by a seven-member consortium — IGrowChicken, Hendrix Genetics, Schippers Export B.V, Transnational Agri, and Nutreco Africa, with Solidaridad West Africa and AgriDEPOT as local implementing partners.
Solidaridad is an international civil society organization with over fifty years of experience in developing solutions to make underprivileged communities more resilient. We currently work in over 40 countries, on five continents, through eight independently supervised regional offices.
Its vision is an economy that works for all: a world in which all we produce, and all we consume can sustain us while respecting the planet, each other, and the next generations.
The organization’s mission is to enable farmers and workers to earn a decent income, shape their own future, and produce in balance with nature by working throughout the supply chain to make sustainability the norm.