Business News of Wednesday, 3 April 2013
The management of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has explained that the authority decided to partner the private sector in its guinea fowl project because it lacked the technical capacity in that area.
The Chief Executive of SADA, Alhaji Gilbert Iddi, described the venture as a strategic market-led out-grower scheme and that, “SADA is not an implementing agency but facilitates its programmes through partnership with organisations with the needed skills.
“And we cannot start producing guinea fowls until we are sure that there is market for it. We would, therefore, not be stampeded to do anything extraordinary,” he said.
Alhaji Iddi was addressing students of the Nyankpala campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) last Wednesday. “The issue is not about buying and distribution of guinea fowls to people,” he said. The forum was organised by the Department of Agribusiness Management and Finance of the university in collaboration with SADA. According to him, SADA entered into a joint venture with the Asongtaba Cottage Industry (ACI) in 2012, to form a subsidiary company to be known as SADA Asongtaba Guinea Fowl Production and Marketing Company.
He said the decision for such collaboration was purely for technical reasons, since Asongtaba was already into guinea fowl farming and, therefore, had the needed skills to embark on such a large-scale production. Alhaji Iddi said the new company had been duly registered with the Registrar General’s Department. With the GH¢15 million invested in the venture, SADA had a 40 per cent stake in the subsidiary entity, while ACI held the majority share of 60 per cent or GH¢25 million in investments.
Alhaji Iddi explained that under the guinea fowl project, large tracts of farmlands had been acquired at the authority’s operational areas where modern hatcheries, processing plants, storage facilities and distribution facilities would be established. The CEO further explained that such a major investment in the sector was to take advantage of the opportunities available in the guinea fowl market both internally and externally to create jobs and reduce poverty.
On the afforestation project of SADA, Alhaji Iddi said five million trees of various varieties, including teak and mahogany, had been planted in almost all the districts of its ecological zone. He acknowledged that although few of the trees were affected by bush fires, the project, which was aimed at changing the eco-system in the north, was doing pretty well.
Alhaji Iddi, therefore, described as mischievous the assertion that SADA had expended huge sums of money on rearing guinea fowls. “It was most unfortunate for someone to go to Parliament to mislead the people with such a claim,” he stated.
The CEO said the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Mr Alex Afenyo-Markin, who raised the issue in Parliament on Monday, March 25, could have sought further clarifications during his (CEO’s) meeting with the Finance Committee of Parliament or contacted the management of the authority.