The Development Facility of the eco.business Fund in partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana has hosted agricultural summits to discuss economical and sustainable solutions to the challenges currently faced by the local poultry sector.
The two summits offered more than 100 participants a mixture of trainings and knowledge sharing sessions on access to finance for inputs and feeding, sustainable farm management practices, disease control, insurance, as well as how to navigate the current global uncertainty and impact of climate change.
A statement issued in Accra said the summits followed a similar one held in October 2022 in Sunyani for industry participants such as farmers, experts in animal husbandry, members of the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Project and Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool, insurance companies, agricultural exporters and many more.
It said, “Key takeaways from the summits include the need to coordinate feed sourcing by aggregating demand and exploring alternative carbohydrate and protein sources to reduce the cost of production.”
The release said the initiative was the outcome of the Fund’s recent partnership with the Bank in supporting sustainable practices across various agricultural value chains in Ghana, including poultry.
The statement said in addition to financial support, the Fund provided technical assistance to the Bank’s staff and end borrowers.
It said poultry was the most developed livestock farming in Ghana and played a vital role in providing the country’s population with poultry meat and eggs.
The statement said the sector was also key in reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving the livelihood of players in the industry.
“However, it faces considerable domestic challenges, such as the high cost of inputs, diseases, inefficient production methods, inadequate access to the market. Poor processing facilities are also putting many poultry businesses out of business and the country’s food security at risk.
“Other challenges include competition from cheap imports, and access to affordable credit.”
The release said the adverse effects of changing climatic conditions on the industry were also significant with the prolonged exposure to high temperatures resulting in excessive panting, poor growth of the birds, reduced egg production, smaller sized eggs, and lower quality eggshells.
The statement said Fidelity Bank had supported the sector for many years and that the Bank believed that preventing a further deterioration in the already fragile sector required stakeholders to get together to find creative ways of solving the main challenges.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund, managed by Finance in Motion, said: “The support of the eco.Business Fund goes beyond access to finance.”
He said the summits, co-hosted with Fidelity, demonstrated their commitment to support farmers and industry stakeholders in the country by equipping producers with the skills they needed to withstand potential threats to their businesses and adapt to the challenging global environment and climate change.
Mr. Julian Opuni, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, said: “Ghana’s agribusinesses have a lot of potential to contribute to the country’s economic development.”
He said as a local Bank, Fidelity had always explored ways of supporting SMEs and thus it was a fulfilling moment for them to see that the journey in supporting agribusinesses had had a smooth take-off with their poultry seminars.
“We are confident that the lessons from the discussions and presentations will advance the industry and maximise poultry farmers’ returns on investment,” he said.
The summit held in Sunyani had participants drawn from Ashanti, Northeast, Bono, Bono East, Upper West, Upper East and Savanna regions while the Accra edition had participants from the southern parts of Ghana.