Specially invited dignitaries included the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, Korboe Nene Davies; Acting Director of Animal Production Department; Mr Jonas Asare-Berchie; and Coordinator of the Ghana Egg Secretariat, Dr. Comfort Acheampong. The rest are Chief Executive Officer of Boris B Farms; Dr. Boris Baidoo; Kenyan High Commissioner, H.E. Eliphas Barine; Chairman of the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association, Mr. Victor Oppong; and t Robert Tuebner, Agricultural Attaché at the US Embassy, graced the launch.
In a welcome address, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming gathering of stakeholders and partners who continued to rally around the Chicken Festival initiative aimed at promoting the consumption and patronage of local poultry products, and creating sustainable awareness on the nutritional value of poultry products amongst Ghanaians. “On behalf of the Agrihouse Foundation Team and myself, I say thank you ever so much,” she said, adding that, the team would always tailor its projects and initiatives to meet the needs within the sector.
She said the idea of the Ghana Chicken Festival was born because of the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Trade Show (LIPF). “It was in the course of executing the project that we noticed the growing challenges faced by Ghana’s poultry farmers and in response to that situation, we arrived at the idea of the Ghana Chicken Festival, in collaboration with the then USDA Ghana Poultry Project,” she explained.
Underscoring the relevance of the poultry industry, she said, the industry is a vital part of Ghana’s economy, providing jobs and income for many Ghanaians, adding that, it was time for the country to pay more attention to and recognize the hard work of poultry farmers. “Our studies show that Ghana can meet its poultry needs if we look inwards and gainfully exploit those already existing potentials in the area. Not only can Ghana sufficiently meet her poultry needs, but it can be done with additional health benefits,” she stressed. Existing research shows that our local poultry possesses medicinal values; they have fewer toxins, less fat and a great amount of Vitamin D. They possess anticancer properties and lower cholesterol levels.
Third Ghana Chicken Festival/Ghana Poultry Day
This year’s event, she noted, has been scheduled for Saturday, July 1, and will take place at the forecourt of the State House, in Accra. While the upcoming edition promises to be improved, she revealed the event has already chalked a list of tremendous successes, by introducing the festival to the public, as a family, educational and interventional initiative; over six hundred and fifty (650) participants have been educated to appreciate the health and nutritional benefits of our local chicken and poultry products.
Nationally, through the media and pass-on experiences, the event has promoted the medicinal value of our poultry, which have fewer toxins, less fat and a great amount of Vitamin D; anticancer properties and lower cholesterol the platform has sensitized people on the safety, best practices, nutritional levels and benefits of our locally bred chicken.
The Festival has fostered knowledge sharing among industry players, provided a platform for farmers, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders to display their products and innovative solutions. The platform has strengthened markets and market linkages for poultry farmers in the country; contributed to the increase in the number of local Poultry and feed producers; encouraged restaurants in the capital and parts of the country to rely on local chicken and poultry products for their meals, and exposed families to various healthy chicken food recipes.
“With the launch of this year’s festival, the Agrihouse Foundation hopes to further strengthen the poultry industry in Ghana and encourage more people to support locally produced poultry products. This is particularly important given the increasing demand for poultry products in Ghana and the growing recognition of the importance of supporting local farmers and businesses,” she said.
This year’s festival, she emphasized, is expected to attract a wide range of participants, including farmers, processors, traders, retailers, consumers, government officials, and other stakeholders in the poultry industry. It will provide a platform for these stakeholders to share ideas, cook, learn from each other, and explore new opportunities for growth and development in the poultry sector. In addition to promoting local poultry products, the festival is also expected to contribute to the overall development of Ghana’s agriculture sector. By showcasing the potential of the poultry industry and highlighting the challenges faced by farmers and other stakeholders, the festival will help to generate more support and investment for agriculture in Ghana.
Dr. Comfort Acheampong, “Consider July 1 as Ghana Poultry Day”
In collaborating with Agrihouse Foundation, the coordinator of the Ghana Egg Secretariat, Dr. Comfort Acheampong, announced a proposal urging government to consider institutionalizing July 1 of every year, as Ghana Poultry Day.
She said it was imperative for government to design policies, and join forces with stakeholders, to design interventional projects that scale-up the efforts of poultry farmers. She further urged poultry farmers in the country to strengthen collaborations among themselves, encouraging them to mobilize in ways that help to them to access credit facilities, improve poultry health management, and provide training and support for farmers and producers.
“The poultry industry is a significant contributor to Ghana’s economy, providing jobs and income for thousands of Ghanaians. The Ghana Chicken Festival would provide an opportunity to showcase the potential of local chicken,” she said.
Nene Narh Davies Korboe, “Increase Gov’t Support for Poultry Industry”
For his part the Chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG), Nene Narh Davies Korboe, called on the Government to increase support for the poultry industry. He said the poultry sector accounts for about fourteen percent (14%) of the agricultural gross domestic product, providing employment to a significant portion of the population.
“Despite its importance, the poultry industry is facing numerous challenges, including rising feed prices, lack of access to quality inputs, absence of quality local hatcheries and vaccines, and weak links to input suppliers and markets. These challenges ultimately affect the quality of poultry products and the industry’s overall growth,” he said. He urged the government to provide more support for the poultry sector, particularly in addressing these challenges and ensuring sustainable growth.
Mr Jonas Asare-Berchie, “Agrihouse Is Complementing Gov’t Efforts”
In a speech read on his behalf, the Deputy Minister of livestock, Hon. Mohammed Hardi Tufeiru said the efforts of Agrihouse is in tandem with the objective of NPP’s Rearing For Food and Jobs under our flagship interventional program, Planting For Food and Jobs (now the Enhanced Planting for Food and Jobs) ultimately, seeks to make Ghana food self-sufficient.
“In our current 2023 budget, it is clearly indicated that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in continuation of the implementation of the Rearing for Food and Jobs, shall procure “2 million broiler day old chicks and 8,000 improved breeds of pigs for distribution to out-grower poultry and pig farmers,” he said. He said supportive efforts of organizations such as the Agrihouse Foundation is an encouraging indication that we still have visionary partners to join hands with in pursuit of our goal of making Ghana a food-sufficient nation. “Hence, we can say that a competitive and more efficient livestock industry that reduces our importation of livestock products is possible,” he added.
Victor Oppong, “’Poultry has the potential to alleviate poverty.”
The President of the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association (GNPFA), Victor Oppong Adjei, emphasized that the poultry industry, has the potential to drive economic growth and create employment opportunities in the Country.
According to him, there was a need to continue promoting the consumption of local chicken to achieve sustainable developmental growth in the poultry sector. He said it was rather unfortunate that the country has been depending on imported frozen chicken for decades, with about 600,000 metric tons of chicken imported into the country in 2021.
“This translates to a value of approximately $600 million. This situation has resulted in the exportation of job opportunities and pressure on the exchange rate, which could have positively impacted the economy,” he added. He commended Agrihouse Foundation for initiating the Ghana Chicken Festival to boost the poultry industry, adding that local chicken is a valuable source of protein, which is necessary for multiple body functions. He therefore called on more stakeholders to support Agrihouse Foundation to increase patronage of local chicken.
Dr. Boris B. Baidoo, “Consume Locally Produced Poultry”
Dr. Boris B. Baidoo, CEO of Boris B Farms, for his part, called on Ghanaians to support local poultry farmers and businesses by consuming locally produced poultry. Speaking at the launch, he highlighted the importance of patronizing local poultry and its benefits to both the economy and personal health.
“In Ghana, the poultry industry faces a major challenge of low patronage of locally produced poultry and poultry products. This issue is due to the large influx of imported frozen chicken and parts into the country,” he said. Dr. Baidoo explained that consuming local poultry is a way to support local businesses and farmers. He noted that local poultry is also healthier, more nutritious, fresh, and contains less fat, which makes it a better option for consumers. Dr. Baidoo commended Agrihouse Foundation for establishing the Ghana Chicken Festival, which he said, has become an important platform for local poultry farmers and businesses to showcase their products and engage with consumers.
H.E. Eliphas Barine, “come out with local vaccines to treat chicken diseases”
For his part, the Kenyan High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Eliphas Barine, called on African researchers and the academia to come out with local vaccines to treat chicken diseases. He said such diseases were collapsing the poultry industry and that it was time local scientists found a solution to the menace. Mr Barine spoke on the theme “Kenyan’s Poultry industry: challenges, successes and strategies in building a growth path – learning for Ghana.”
Robert Tuebner, “U. S is committed to supporting Ghana’s poultry sector.”
Robert Tuebner, Agricultural Attaché at the US Embassy, in his brief remark, said, while the US Government has extended support to Ghana’s poultry sector in the past, he noted the U.S is still committed to ensuring that Ghana gains a leveling playing field in the poultry sector. He commended Agrihouse Foundation for initiating the Ghana Chicken Festival to support and empower stakeholders in the poultry value chain.