The development facility of the eco.business Fund – managed by Finance in Motion – in partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana, hosted two agricultural summits in Ghana to discuss economical and sustainable solutions to the challenges currently faced by the local poultry sector.
The 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. Key takeaways from the summits included the need to coordinate feed sourcing by aggregating demand and exploring alternative carbohydrate and protein sources to reduce the cost of production.
The summit, held in Accra for players in the poultry sector, follows a similar one held last month in Sunyani for two days, and gathered numerous industry participants such as farmers, experts in animal husbandry, members of GIRSAL and GAIP, insurance companies, agricultural exporters and many more.
The initiative is the outcome of the eco.business Fund’s recent partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana in supporting sustainable practices across various agricultural value chains in Ghana, including poultry. In addition to financial support, the fund provides technical assistance to the bank’s staff and end borrowers.
Poultry is the most developed livestock farming in Ghana, and plays a vital role in providing the country’s population with poultry meat and eggs. The sector is also key in reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving the livelihood of players in this industry. However, it faces considerable domestic challenges – such as the high cost of inputs, diseases, inefficient production methods, inadequate access to the market and poor processing facilities – are 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 adverse effects of changing climatic conditions on the industry are also significant. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures results in excessive panting, poor growth of the birds, reduced egg production, smaller-sized eggs, and lower quality eggshells.
Fidelity Bank, a leading financial institution and a significant player in Ghana’s agricultural business finance space, has supported the sector for many years. The bank believes that preventing a further deterioration in the already fragile sector requires 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, said: “The support of the eco.Business Fund goes beyond access to finance. These summits, co-hosted with Fidelity, demonstrate our commitment to support farmers and industry stakeholders in the country by equipping producers with the skills they need to withstand potential threats to their businesses, and adapt to the challenging global environment and climate change”.
On his part, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Mr. Julian Opuni, noted that: “Ghana’s agribusinesses have a lot of potential to contribute to the country’s economic development. As a local bank, Fidelity Bank has always explored ways of supporting SMEs. It is, thus, a fulfilling moment for us to see that this journey in supporting agribusinesses has had a smooth take-off with our poultry seminars held with industry players in the sector. We are confident that the lessons from the discussions and presentations will advance the industry and maximise poultry farmers’ returns on investment.”
The summit, held in Sunyani, had participants drawn from Ashanti, North East, Bono, Bono East, Upper West, Upper East and Savanna Regions while the Accra edition had participants from the southern sector of Ghana.