The Rockland and Boris B Farms, both in the Ashanti Region, are the two anchor farms benefiting from the initiative that target job creation and reduces the importation of poultry products.
Under the initiative, dubbed: “The Broiler Project,” the beneficiary farms are receiving a 50 per cent subsidy on feed, vaccines and day-old chicks to cushion them to produce more in response to local demand for poultry.
The Government through the Obaatanpa Cares Programme is also subsidising 50 per cent of interest on bank loans for the beneficiary farms as an incentive to expand their businesses.
The two farms, which are also into the processing of poultry products, work closely with other out-grower farms that supply them with broilers for processing onto the market.
This is to encourage the beneficiary farms to increase production through the creation of a ready market while promoting the consumption of local poultry.
A team from MoFA and the Finance Ministry were in the Ashanti Region to monitor the progress of the project and expressed the belief that it would yield the expected dividend if sustained and extended to more anchor farms across the country.
The team led by Mr Edwin Bekoe, the Director of Animal Production, MoFA, visited the processing units of the farms, and some selected out growers.
The members were taken through the various stages of processing and packaging poultry meat as workers of the facilities engaged in their daily routines.
Mr Bekoe applauded them for adding value to local bird production while creating jobs for Ghanaians.
One of the major problems the project sought to address is the large-scale importation of chicken into the country, he said, and that building the capacity of local farmers is necessary to address the perennial challenge.
The initial plan, according to the Director, was to engage as many poultry farmers as possible, but a lot of challenges were encountered hence the decision to target anchor farmers, who had the capacity to process poultry meat and bring other out growers on board.
Mr Bekoe said as financing the project suffered a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ‘Obaatan Cares’ Programme stepped in to subsidise 50 per cent of interest on loans for the farmers.
“The ultimate goal is to achieve zero importation of chicken, but it will take us a few years to get there looking at the gap and the current economic crisis,” he said.
Mr Michael Baidoo, a Technical Officer at the Ministry of Finance, said the intervention by Obaatanpa Cares is to make funds accessible to the farmers to grow their businesses.
He said the team is impressed with the level of productivity at the processing units and expressed the readiness of the programme to support them to achieve the desired results.
Ms Edith Akosah Wheatland, the Chief Executive Officer of Rockland Farms, said her outfit had the capacity to process 5,000 birds a day and that the vision is to establish a bigger factory to process eight million birds a year.
She said the intervention by the Government is a step in the right direction to spur growth but more could be done in the form of tax waiver to make the local poultry industry competitive.
Mr Boris Baidoo, the Chief Executive Officer of Boris B Farms, commended the Government for its support and called for investment in machinery.