Kumasi, Oct 21, GNA - Mr Yaw Opoku Atuahene, Deputy Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), on Thursday called on livestock processing companies to adhere to stringent hygienic standards and quality packaging.
He said this was crucial in line with the bank's efforts to strengthen production infrastructure and linkages in the livestock industry to enable the country attain self-sufficiency in livestock production and a net exporter of livestock products.
Mr Atuahene made the call at a public lecture organised as part of the bank's 40th anniversary celebration in Kumasi.
The celebration is under the theme, "40 Years of Driving Ghana's Agriculture Through Banking".
He said to improve on livestock processing technology in the country; the bank financed a private entrepreneur in the Ashanti Region to procure an in-line poultry processing plant with a capacity of 2,000 birds per hour and 500 tonnes cold storage facility.
Mr Atuahene said, there was a combined poultry processing capacity of 28,000 birds per day contributed by three identified livestock processing companies situated in Ashanti and Greater Accra regions. He said the bank had been instrumental in the provision of banking services rural communities and the main institutional vehicle to channel credit to the agricultural sector and particularly small-scale farmers and fishermen.
Mr Atuahene pointed out that the bank had initiated a two-year agricultural lending programme estimated at three trillion cedis for the 2006-2007 financial years.
He explained that under the programme, the bank would select at least four agricultural activities in each region for financing, while 29.6 acres of maize and soybean would be cultivated in selected areas at Ejura, Sekyedumase, Techiman, Wenchi, Afram Plains, Nkoranza, Salaga, Tano-Vea, Saboba and Sandema.
The Deputy Managing Director said the bank would in addition; finance the production of 2.6 million broilers and 500,000 layers in 2006 and 5.0 million broilers and 1.0 million layers in 2007.