Amazingly, chicken that travels to Ghana from all over the world is still cheaper than locally produced chicken, due to economies of scale in exporting countries. In fact, for the past two decades, Ghana’s broiler industry has been commercially uncompetitive, maintaining less than 5 percent of market share.
The Ghana Poultry Project (GPP), an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implement by ACDI/VOCA and Technoserve, works with both public and private-sector poultry firms to improve the performance of Ghana’s broiler industry.
Accra Abattoir Limited, a private – public slaughter house, is one of the processing firms GPP supports to expand end markets for locally produced chicken by addressing systemic supply and marketing challenges.
The company maintains strict health regulations and hygiene standards to ensure that the meat it processes meets standards and does not threaten public health.
The abattoir’s business is picking up again after experiencing recent operational challenges. The company lost market share, including poultry meat consumers, forcing it to focus mainly on beef processing.
Training And Food Safety Certifications Boost Abattoir’s Operations
GPP improved Accra Abattoir’s operational capacity by training its workers in sales and marketing, branding, and packaging. Employees received processing safety and food hygiene training that enabled the company to renew its Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) certification and acquire new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) permits.
Outgrower Scheme Strengthens Supply Chain
GPP also supported the abattoir as it set up an outgrower scheme involving 35 smallholder poultry farmers to address supply chain challenges.
Now, the Accra Abattoir provides regular extension services and trains its outgrowers in animal husbandry practices, including biosecurity, vaccination and feeding techniques, and how to counter unreliable supply and income fluctuation.
“Eat Ghana Chicken” Campaign Triples Demand
The abattoir also joined a marketing campaign funded by GPP–“Eat Ghana Chicken”–to change social perceptions of locally produced chicken. The campaign drove demand for local chicken across the country and promoted poultry firms, including the Accra Abattoir, through posters, radio advertisements, and community and street activities.
The first round of campaign activities spurred consumer awareness and the abattoir resumed processing 50 birds per week. Through a GPP grant, the abattoir developed a website and marketing tools such as fliers and posters to reach more clients.
This tripled demand for the Abattoir’s chicken within the first three months to more than 150 chicken weekly. The company also increased its points of sale from two to six after product demand shot up.
GPP is further assisting the abattoir to acquire international certifications such as International Organization of Standards (ISO) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which are required by the local cold stores if the company wants to compete with imported poultry meat. GPP connected the abattoir with experts who provided training and technical support to meet these standards.
With solid production and marketing foundations established, the abattoir has procured equipment exclusively for poultry processing that can process 800 birds per day at full capacity. Based on the estimated demand after the equipment installation, the abattoir intends to process about 400 birds daily. Through GPP’s grant, the company also improved its delivery system to transport meat products to its outlets.
“GPP’s intervention came in just at the right time to save the broiler industry from total collapse. Through their support we have uncovered and realized diverse poultry trade opportunities that our eyes were previously closed to. In this short while, the Accra Abattoir is well on its way to double its total revenue through poultry products and at the same time regularizing incomes for more than 30 smallholder farmers in this area.”– Dr. Osei Bonsu, head of the Accra Abattoir
GPP is coordinating similar support for a network of poultry processors to improve the resilience and sustainability of its market expansion interventions.