Meat Processing – Changing Ghana’s Future
Agriculture is the backbone of Ghana’s economy, despite the challenges farmers face ensuring that the nation has enough food to feed its citizens. An article published in September 2015 stated that Ghana only produces 10% of the meat it consumes, meaning that 90% is imported.
My goal, to redress this 90% importation number whilst at the same time contributing to the national food basket, is to open and operate a meat processing facility using organically home grown livestock/poultry. It is my firm belief that in every organization, adding value to products and services to meet the market demand is the soul driver of every business, my business will be no different. Being a Ghanaian national, this need alone is motivation enough for me to realize my dream of becoming one of the biggest meat processors in Ghana.
With my experience as a farm manager for over ten years, I have decided to setup my own mixed livestock and meat processing farm which will also double as a training center to train and encourage young entrepreneurs with similar dreams.
The project will be in two phases initially starting with a piggery and processing facility followed by farming other animals such as poultry and then finally cattle.
This project is aimed at preparing and training young people who have interests in becoming “agripreneurs” but have little or no idea about raising livestock and to realize their dreams so that together with the traditional farmers, we can feed mother Ghana and export where necessary.
Livestock farming is capital intensive; therefore the need to delve into other inuring but less capital intensive sectors to support the farm are crucial. For this reason, part of the land will be used to develop a small organic vegetable farm using manure from the piggery to fertilize the crops. A portion of the manure will also be used to prepare organic compost for sale to other farmers in the area. This practice will support “greening of the environment” and also reduce the odors from the farm (environmentally friendly).
PHASE I: This will comprise the clearing of the land, building the basic structures that will house the farm hands plus the pig sty (land will be left for future expansion). I will then proceed to have talks with local restaurants, eateries and vegetable markets to make available their kitchen waste and/or unsold vegetables which will serve as feed for the pigs.
Once established, the pigs will be brought to the farm. The pigs will come from two different farms, one of which is my fathers. Through discussions, I have secured a number of Sows and a Boar.
Within one year of the pigs arriving, an assessment will be made to ascertain whether PHASE II can commence; if not, then a grace period of about six months will be allowed.
PHASE II (THE PROCESSING SECT): Even though this is the main aim of the project, the processing plant will start once we have decided that there are enough pigs to feed the processing plant.
The processing will start with a sausage and bacon maker (manufactured by Ghanaian engineering firms like GRATIS – an engineering firm located in the industrial area of Tema). Another structure will be put up and equipped with all the necessary utilities and equipment which supports the processing plant to start production. Through research, poultry and cattle will be later added to produce other types of processed meat products like canned beef, chicken etc.
I intend to use traditional marketing strategies and internet marketing platforms to market my products.
Through these traditional marketing strategies, I will have face to face discussions with local shops within the Central and Greater Accra regions of Ghana to promote and sell my products at discounted but break-even prices.
As a journalist, I will use my relationship with other people who work with the various platforms such as radio and TV stations, internet marketing firms as well as administrators of social networks like Facebook, Whatsapp and a few popular networks to advertise my products since all processed meat products I have come across are imported which supports the referenced article.
RESOURCES (HUMAN RESOURCE):
With human resource, I have friends and family who are in various industries that are directly linked to the business I aim to set-up. The farm hands will also come from the local community; that is, young people who have similar dreams and will want to learn and acquire skills and knowledge in the business.
OTHER RESOURCES AND LOGISTICS:
I have been able to secure a piece of land at Twifo Praso in the Central Region of Ghana sited for the project. I have acquired a few documents on pig farming and how to make sausages and bacon.
Additionally, I will have talks with the chiefs and elders of the area to setup a fund that will be used to expand the business that will create jobs for the youth in the area (this means the community will own part of the company at a certain level). This will also create a business environment for investors to partner the company.
Estimated amount for the cost of PHASE I:
Structure 1: wooden farm house – GHC 5,000.00
Structure 2: The pig sty – GHC 6,000.00
Clearing and preparing the land: – GHC 500.00
Phase I-Total: GHC 11,500.00
Estimated amount for the cost of PHASE II:
Processing Building (incl. services): GHC 8,500.00*
Farm hand allowance for first 3 months: GHC 3,000.00**
Processing Unit: GHC TBC
PHASE II Total: GHC 11,500.00
*An allowance until funds from the vegetable farm and sale of compost or manure from the piggery become available to pay wages.
**Cost of the processing Unit is not known at this time as the companies approached had not responded before launching this proposal.
In conclusion, an approximate amount of GHC 23,000.00 (US$5,800.00) will be needed to complete PHASE I and part of PHASE II.
My name is Anthony Ayertey, 30 years old and a Ghanaian national. I hold a diploma in Journalism and a certificate in Data Journalism and Visualization.
I have worked for and managed SINA FARMS; a mixed livestock farm owned by my father who has been in the business for more than thirty-five years.
I also have a keen interest in research and development.
Blogpost and pictures submitted by Anthony Ayertey (Ghana) – anthonyayertey(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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