The Agricultural Development Bank, ADB, has released the first tranche of 23.1 million Ghana cedis to help revive Ghana’s poultry industry.
The bank last month outlined plans to invest 500 million cedis in Ghana’s poultry industry by 2022 with the ultimate aim of boosting local production to reduce importation.
The Bono Region is the first to receive the money out of six regions earmarked to benefit from the 500 million cedis fund.
The Bono Region produces about fifty percent of Ghana’s poultry products with over five thousand poultry farmers in the business.
The purpose of the investment according to the ADB; is to strengthen the poultry farmers to produce enough for local consumption and ultimately cut down Ghana’s annual importation of millions of dollars’ worth of poultry products.
This is also expected to create more employment in the sector particularly for the country’s youth. Adb is looking at jobs for about 550 people in each of the regions where the scheme would be implemented.
Speaking to journalists after meeting poultry farmers, feed producers, and processors in the poultry value chain, the Managing Director of ADB, Dr. John Kofi Mensah, said Ghana has all that it takes to sufficiently produce poultry to feed the nation without pumping 300 million dollars annually to import same.
“We have all the resources as a nation to be self-sufficient in poultry production but we have actually not taken the bull by the horn to do so and we see ourselves as an Agricultural bank to take the lead,” he said.
In all, the regions set to benefit from the 500 million cedis facility are the Bono Region, Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Greater Accra and the Western Region.
ADB bank has pledged to give the loans to the farmers at an interest rate of not more than 10 percent.
Victor Oppong Adjei, the President of the National Association of Poultry Farmers, outlined strategies that will be used by the Association to change the taste of poultry consumers from imported chicken to the local breed.
“It’s about time that we get fresh and healthy chicken, so this is a very good opportunity for us to start production. We are going to give our maximum support to ADB for this project to be very successful. We know what’s in the imported chicken. We are giving out good, fresh and healthy chicken. The import has been stored for years so we cannot compare our chicken with the imported ones. So, it’s a brand and we are going to brand our chicken so that we can sell them,” he said.