The Gender Co-ordinator of the Ghana Poultry Product (GPP), Mrs Ansariata Saeed Salih, has emphasised the need to organise a networking platform for women who operate businesses within the poultry value chain.
That, she said, would help create public awareness and target innovative investments in areas that benefited women, adding that it would also provide a platform for continuous training of poultry value chain actors, especially women.
Mrs Salih, who was addressing the inauguration of the first-ever Association of Women in Poultry Farming in Ghana, said the move was to encourage more gender-equitable development measures within the poultry value chain, saying, “It will also increase businesses of women in the poultry sector by connecting poultry farmers to input dealers, financial institutions among others.”
The executive members of the association are Ms Catherine Osei Tutu, the President; Ms Patience Obeng, the Vice-President; Ms Faustina Adu Gyamfi as the Treasurer; Ms Lovia Manford, the Secretary and Ms Margaret Bequen, the Organiser.
The GPP also aims at increasing agriculture productivity in the poultry value chain through capacity building, improving input markets and promoting strategic investments and private-public partnerships.
It is also to increase the trade of poultry products by improving product quality, increasing production efficiency and improving market linkages.
According to Mrs Salih, her outfit deliberately established a women’s network wing of the GPP to provide specific initiatives to boost the interest of women in the poultry industry, explaining that this had become necessary because preliminary assessment of the poultry sector revealed that most of the commercial farms were owned and operated by men without special attention to the specific needs of businesses owned by women in the sector.
In his address, the Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), Mr Joe Acheampong, said the government had secured funding from the Arab Bank for Economic Development and the OPEC Fund for International Development for rural development programmes in Ghana.
He said the micro credit component of the project had provided a revolving credit with $3.12million for partner financial institutions for the benefit of farmers and farmer groups.
Mr Acheampong said in all the SIF schemes, women had been modestly supported, especially those in farming, in the quest to ensure sustainability, and added that the fund also encouraged female participation of not less than 40 per cent in the SIF schemes.
Ms Osei Tutu said the association would aim at operating a hatchery to supply healthy day-old chicks to women poultry farmers to ensure profitable operations of their farms.
She announced that among other things, the association would increase the capacity of its members in competitive poultry production, processing and marketing of poultry products, as well as provide short-term and soft loans for their operations and provide a communication platform for women in poultry farming in the regions.