The government has since 2019, injected GH¢18 million into Darko Farms Company Limited, an integrated poultry production company, in Atwima in the Ashanti Region, to revamp its operations.
The financial support, which was channelled through the Ghana EXIM Bank, followed the inclusion of the company in the One District-One Factory (1D1F) programme.
The company, which faced operational challenges due to financial constraints prior to the capital injection, was due for additional GH¢4 million, to enable it expand and produce at maximum capacity.
Touring the company’s three factories yesterday, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said companies such as Darko Farms was the reason government decided to include existing old enterprises in the 1D1F.
He noted that although the company was a celebrated one, it had over the years gone through financial distress, making it difficult to operate successfully.
Mr Kyerematen said the company satisfied government’s agenda to decentralise industries to rural communities and create jobs.
“This company since its establishment was the only integrated poultry production company in the country. But, unfortunately, due to some economic factors, it was in ruins. As part of 1D1F, we are reviving it and placing it where it belongs.
“The physical infrastructure is already in existence. We do not have to incubate a new poultry production company when Darko Farms exists. It is key to our plan on import substitution and has a huge potential for export,” Mr Keyerematen added.
Currently, the 1D1F Programme, he said, was providing support to about 20 poultry production companies across the country to be able to expand and operate competitively in the West African sub-region.
Mr Kyerematen indicated that government’s trade policies would ensure that poultry production companies were able to compete favourably with its foreign competitors.
Mr Samuel Darko, Deputy Managing Director of Darko Farms, bemoaned the near-collapse of the company, which resulted in the loss of at least 1000 jobs.
Following the financial support, he explained that the company was presently running a hatchery, breeder, feed and chicken processing factories.
Mr Darko said the company was now producing four million day old chicks a day, which would increase to seven million when the newly purchased equipment is installed in December later this year.
The company, he noted was also producing 70 tonnes of feed a day and has breeders numbering 5,000.
Mr Darko said the company has also engaged 200 outgrowers who have been provided with broilers to produce, adding that the outgrower scheme arrangement was currently employing 1,000 people, and would rise to 2,000 when the company operates at maximum capacity after the installation of the equipment.
He said although the company was buying maize from local farmers, it was also cultivating 1,500 acre-land of maize as a measure to reduce cost of production.
In a related development, the minister toured factories of Obibini Blackman Company Limited and Adonko Bitters Company Limited to inspect expansion works, after registering for the 1D1F Programme.
While Adonko Bitters was building a new factory for soft drinks production, Obibini Blackman has expanded operations to include mineral water manufacturing.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, ATWIMA DISTRICT