Government pledges to revamp poultry industry with $541 million investment
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has announced a US$541 million investment into the country’s poultry industry, aimed at increasing domestic production and reducing the need for imports. The investment is in line with one of the key resolutions of the Dakar II Summit held in Senegal, which sought to revamp the industry and position it to curb recent imports in excess of over US$600 million per annum.
According to Robert Ankobia, Chief Director at the MoFA, the move is to achieve self-sufficiency in poultry meat products by expanding production, increasing competitiveness, and value addition. The investment will increase domestic production from the current 50,000 tonnes a year to an envisaged 450,000 tonnes per annum. This, in turn, is expected to increase the domestic poultry sector’s value from the existing US$62 million to US$562 million.
The investment breakdown reveals that about US$20 million will be expended on technical assistance programmes in animal husbandry and health. Meanwhile, about US$69 million will be used on feed mills expansion and upgrading to reduce poultry feed costs. US$438 million will be allocated to enhance access to finance and cost-sharing support for private investment in hatcheries and production expansion, while US$14.8 million will be spent on programmes to promote expansion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) processing in slaughtering and packaging, among others.
The move to invest in local poultry is part of pathways and one of the country’s key compacts during the Dakar II Summit to attain self-sufficiency and agrifood transformation for the next five years, according to Mr. Ankobia. The compact focuses on production expansion and loss-reduction in the country’s food value chain, prioritising key sub-sectors with the highest impact on food security, with key considerations for other commodities such as rice and soybean.
The Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association (GNPFA) has confirmed that over US$600 million worth of chicken is dumped onto the domestic market annually. The association said the phenomenon has compounded the woes of the country’s poultry industry, which is on the verge of collapse due to a lack of regulation to check the dumping of chicken. The Association’s president, Victor Oppong, previously mentioned that the country receives nearly 600,000 metric tonnes of frozen chicken valued at US$600 million every year.
The investment is expected to help reduce Ghana’s reliance on imports and create jobs in the poultry industry, thereby boosting economic growth. However, concerns have been raised about the ability of the industry to absorb the anticipated increase in domestic production, given the country’s weak infrastructure, lack of access to finance, and high cost of production. The government has acknowledged these challenges and has promised to address them to ensure the success of the investment.
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