Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), a leading indigenous bank, has begun the disbursement of funds to players in the poultry value chain in the country under its Poultry Value Chain Financing Programme (PVCFP).
The company yesterday released the first tranche of the facility; amounting to more than GH¢23 million to six companies in the poultry value chain in the Bono Region.
ADB last month announced a GH¢500-million package to support the local poultry industry to increase production in a bid to reduce the country’s import of poultry.
The package under the ADB PVCFP programme being rolled out in partnership with the Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana-Incentive-Based-Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) and Outgrower and Value Chain Fund (OVCF) is to boost local production of poultry.
Speaking at the ADB Poultry Value Chain Stakeholders’ Meeting in Accra yesterday, the Managing Director of ADB, Dr John Kofi Mensah said the ADB PVCFP was to support the government’s Broiler Revitalisation Programme, which is meant to increase the domestic production of poultry.
According to him, the local poultry industry held the key to addressing the perennial depreciation of the cedi if efforts were made to revamp the industry and increase local production of poultry.
“The Poultry Industry has the propensity to stabilise the cedi and boost the growth of the Ghanaian economy,” Dr Mensah stated.
Dr Mensah observed that the country annually imported more than $370 million worth of poultry products to meet the shortfall in demand, when same could be produced locally to save the country a lot of foreign exchange.
He said the country’s reliance on imports to meet its meat and poultry needs, was putting pressure on the local currency.
Dr Mensah said the country needed to produce 400,000 metric tonnes of meat annually to meet the country’s meat needs, but the players in the industry could onlyproduce 57,871 metric tonnes, leaving a huge deficit.
The ADB MD said his outfit was committed to helping the country reduce its reliance on imported poultry to meet the poultry needs of the country and it was in that direction that the ADB PCCFP was initiated.
He said the programme was meant to support all the players in the poultry value chain including hatcheries, producers, feed millers, processors and marketers.
Dr Mensah said the interest rate on the ADB PVCFP was not more than ten per cent to give financial relief to players in the poultry value chain.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto in remarks made on his behalf by his Technical Advisor, Emmanuel Krobea Asante, commended ADB for the role it was playing to support the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs and the Rearing for Food and Jobs Programmes.
According to the minister, ADB’s name was becoming synonymous with the Planting for Food and Jobs and the Rearing for Jobs and Food Programmes, since it was the bank that was mainly financing the two programmes.
Dr Akoto said the government was working with stakeholders to ensure that interest rate on loans disbursed to players in the value chain under the ADB PVCFP programme did not go above ten per cent.
The minister entreated the beneficiaries of the ADB PVCFP to pay back the loans to ensure the success of the programme.
Senior Agribusiness Specialist of GIRSAL, Mr Takyi Sraha lauded ADB for the initiative and said his outfit was proud to be associated with the programme.
He said his outfit was ready established to help players in the agricultural value chain de-risk their operations and increase their production.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist of OVCF, Michael Kpormegbe said his outfit had so far released 50 million euros to support players in the agriculture value chain.
He said additional funds had been approved in the third phase of the programme to further support players in the agricultural industry in the country.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE