The development facility of the eco.business Fund, managed by Finance in Motion, in partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana, has held two agricultural summits in the country to discuss economical and sustainable solutions to the challenges currently faced by the local poultry sector.
The summits offered more than 100 participants a mixture of trainings and knowledge sharing sessions on access to finance for inputs and feeding, sustainable farm management practices, disease control, insurance, as well as how to navigate the current global uncertainty and impact of climate change.
Key takeaways from the summits included the need to coordinate feed sourcing by aggregating demand and exploring alternative carbohydrate and protein sources to reduce the cost of production.
The summit held in Accra for players in the poultry sector follows a similar one held last month in Sunyani over two days that brought together industry participants such as farmers, experts in animal husbandry, insurance companies, agricultural exporters and many more.
A release issued in Accra yesterday said “the initiative is the outcome of the eco.business Fund’s recent partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana in supporting sustainable practices across various agricultural value chains in Ghana, including poultry. In addition to financial support, the fund provides technical assistance to the bank’s staff and end borrowers.”
Role of poultry
It said poultry was the most developed livestock farming in the country and played a vital role in providing the country’s population with poultry meat and eggs. The sector is also key in reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving the livelihood of players in this industry.
However, the release said the sector faced considerable domestic challenges, such as the high cost of inputs, diseases, inefficient production methods, inadequate access to the market and poor processing facilities, which are putting many poultry businesses out of business and the country’s food security at risk. Other challenges include competition from cheap imports and access to affordable credit.
The release said adverse effects of changing climatic conditions on the industry were also significant. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures results in excessive panting, poor growth of the birds, reduced egg production, smaller sized eggs, and lower quality eggshells.
It said: “Fidelity Bank, a leading financial institution and a significant player in the country's agricultural business finance space, has supported the sector for many years. The bank believes that preventing a further deterioration in the already fragile sector requires stakeholders to get together to find creative ways of solving the main challenges.”
The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund, Dr Jens Mackensen, said in the release that: “The support of the eco.Business Fund goes beyond access to finance. These summits, co-hosted with Fidelity, demonstrate our commitment to support farmers and industry stakeholders in the country by equipping producers with the skills they need to withstand potential threats to their businesses and adapt to the challenging global environment and climate change.”
For his part, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Julian Opuni, noted that “Ghana's agribusinesses have a lot of potential to contribute to the country's economic development. As a local bank, Fidelity Bank has always explored ways of supporting SMEs.