The Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund (EDAIF) has explained that work is going on to revitalise broiler production in the country to reduce imports of poultry products by 40 per cent.
According to the Chief Executive of EDAIF, Dr Barfour Osei, a technical committee is currently retuning the programme announced in the 2015 Budget and Economic Policy of the government aimed at producing 20 million broilers, equivalent to about 60,000 tonnes of poultry meat.
Dr Osei explained that the fine-tuning would ensure that the programme was delivered to elicit the necessary impact and multiplier effect along the value chain of poultry production. The committee’s will be approved by the EDAIF board.
The work of the technical team also seeks to avoid mistakes in the past and carve out a programme that employed an integrated approach to ensure the desired and necessary impact on all stakeholders and the economy at large, he told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on January 8.
It is anticipated that the broiler revitalisation programme would help the economy save about US$132 million and reduce poultry import by 38.9 per cent by the end of 2016. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association is implementing the programme.
Dr Osei, a development economist with over 30 years’ experience home and abroad, was quick to add that although that funding for that particular programme was yet to be released, the poultry sector was already being supported by EDAIF.
Farms such as Akate Farms, Asamoah & Yamoah and a host of other farms, small holder farmers and poultry interventions, including hatcheries and feed mills, were all being supported by EDAIF, he added.
The National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) says it is yet to receive the GH¢40 million financial support the government promised.
The Chairman of GNAPF, Mr Kwadwo Asante, who disclosed this to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS, said the association was still waiting for the funds, stressing 2014 was very challenging for poultry farmers, citing the depreciation of the cedi against the major foreign currencies and the power crisis (‘dumsor dumsor’) as the banes.
He said about 80 per cent of the ingredients of poultry feed were imported and the cedi depreciation had increased the cost of production tremendously.
Mr Asante indicated that if the government had provided earlier the financial support it had promised, the poultry farmers would have produced enough birds to feed the whole country during the Christmas season.
He pointed out that GH¢21.34 million of the amount had been expected to be given to a company called Johnny’s Food and Meat Complex (JFamco) in order to set up a processing plant in Accra.
“This money is yet to be released to either JFamco or the association. If we had got the processing plant, producing birds for consumption in the country wouldn’t have been a problem at all,” he said.
“The only support the poultry industry has seen this year is a private initiative, dubbed ‘Project One Million Birds’, by Boris B’s Farms & Veterinary Supplies Ghana Ltd under which farmers managed to produce 400,000 birds for the local market,” he noted.
He, therefore, appealed to the government, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to speed up the release of the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) because it was long overdue.
The government, some months ago, indicated that it had initiated an intervention to revamp the poultry sector. Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the then Minister of Trade and Industry, who signed the correspondence to GNAPF, said by the last quarter of 2014 there would be a stimulus support for the production of poultry to facilitate the economic development of the country.
The proposed project targeted the production of five million broiler birds annually, with 15,000 broiler birds being processed daily at two existing processing plants in the Ashanti Region, namely, Darko Farms Company Ltd and Yamoah Company Ltd, and a third plant to be established in the Greater Accra Region on the premises of JFamco Ltd.
Project funding of GH¢39,539,500 was requested to be released for the immediate implementation of phase one of the project in 2014, of which GH¢21.34 million would be utilised as project credit for the establishment of a poultry processing plant in greater Accra Region at the premises of JFamco under collaborative arrangement with GNAFPF.
An amount of GH¢14.77 million was also to be utilised to support broiler production to feed the two existing processing plants in the Ashanti Region.
The remaining GH¢3.43 million was grant for project management and outgrower apprenticeship activities.