Access To Credit Remains Major Problem For Poultry Industry— Ceo, Agabusco Poultry Farm

poultry pixThe government’s efforts to promote poultry farming and cut down on the huge import of poultry will not be successful if the problem of access to credit for farmers is not addressed, Ernest Adomako, Chief Executive Officer, Agabusco poultry farm has said.

He said despite the growing number of commercial banks and specialised institutions such as Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund (EDAIF) access and cost of credit remained a major challenge.

Speaking in an interview with Times Business on his farm at Kasoa in the Central Region on Saturday, he said he applied for an EDAIF facility to inject more capital into his operations, but the process had been very slow.

He said it was becoming very difficult for poultry farmers in the country to access government’s funds meant for the industry.

Agabusco farm, which has branches in Kasoa and Bortianor in the Greater Accra and Central regions, has 20,000 birds and produces 2,000 crates of eggs a day.

Mr. Adomako said due to the perceived high-risk nature of poultry farming, many commercial banks shied away from giving loans to operators in the industry, while the high cost of poultry feed also made the business too expensive to operate.

“It is very important for the government to ensure that funds meant for players in the poultry industry could be accessed easily,” he said.

He said the plight of poultry farmers have been compounded by the high import of the product rendering local producers uncompe-titive.

“In the face of all these difficulties, we local producers are still engaged in the poultry business with the view to rescuing it from total collapse but the challenges must be addressed,” he said.

Currently, Ghana’s poultry sector is facing challenges following unbridled trade liberalisation that allows the importation of poultry products to complement those from the ailing poultry industry in Ghana.

For a country that could produce 80 per cent of its poultry needs as of 1993, according to Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) figures, Ghana can now produce a paltry 10 per cent of its poultry needs.

Last year, the country spent $270 million on the importation of poultry products.

Mr. Adomaka was of the view that even under the dictates of a free market enterprise, it was imperative for the government to control the importation of cheap poultry products through appropriate tariff regimes with the view to protecting operators in the local poultry industry and making them more competitive.

To help cut the country’s import he said he had plans to purchase high technology from Israel that could produce 60,000 chickens for sale in every six weeks.

“This plan can only come to fruition only when I can get financial support to execute the planed project. Poultry farming is capital intensive and such a milestone project of producing 60,000 chickens requires high amount of money to begin with,” he said.

He also urged the government to provide incentive packages for poultry farmers, such as support for those who import poultry feed and other inputs, so that those items could be obtained at affordable prices.

By Charles Amankwa

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