Solidaridad West Africa, an international civil society organisation, together with its partners, last Friday launched a new project aimed at boosting local poultry meat production.
Known as the ‘Better Chicken for a Better Future Project’, the three-year project is being implemented in five districts in the Ashanti Region and targets a total of 500 smallholder poultry farmers.
It 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, and will focus on strengthening the poultry business by enhancing the value chain for locally raised and processed chicken.
The project aims at addressing challenges such as skyrocketing feed prices, the 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 that are crippling the local poultry industry.
The project is being implemented by a seven-member consortium namely IGrowChicken, Hendrix Genetics, Schippers Export B.V, Transnational Agri, and Nutreco Africa from the Netherlands with Solidaridad West Africa and AgriDEPOT as the local implementing partners.
It will be piloted in the Bekwai Municipal, Bosomtwe, Atwima Kwanwoma, Amansie West and Central districts in the Ashanti Region.
Out of the targeted 500 smallholder farmers, 30 per cent of them will be women and youth.
The beneficiary farmers will have access to quality but competitive day-old chicks, feed and hygiene products.
Farmers will also benefit from training in best husbandry practices, farm management, agribusiness development, financial management and life skills.
Speaking at the launch of the project, 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 reducing the importation of frozen chicken and to promote the local poultry sector.
He 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."
The acting Policy Officer of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, Abdul Rahaman Abdulai, said the poultry sector was an important and strategic industry and as such, The Netherlands would 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.