The impact of the novel Coronavirus on local poultry producers has been overwhelmingly positive.

According to the managing director of Darko Farms, Samuel Darko, the demand for local day old chicks by various farmers has skyrocketed following the closure of land and sea borders which restricted the importation of day-old chicks.

“A lot of farmers were not interested in local Day Old Chicks thinking local hatcheries are not able to produce quality. The closure of airports and Covid-19 saw no day-old chicks allowed to come in so they had to fall back to Darko Farms.

“And now, we have a lot of the farmers now realise that the quality they import is also available in Ghana so it (Covid-19) has helped us positively.”

In 2018, Ghana imported 511,960 broiler day-old chicks and 7,130,999 layer day-old chicks. Currently, there is limited regulation on local hatcheries.

Government is yet to pass into law a hatchery bill, which will ensure that quality day-old chicks are produced from domestic hatcheries. 

With local demand for day old chicks rising, thanks to Covid, Darko Farms is in the best position to dominate the market.

Darko Farms has now been revitalised under the government’s One District One Factory (1D1F) programme with reinjection of ¢22 million capital from the Ghana Exim Bank. 

The Trade Minister, Alan Kyeremanteng, as part of his second phase business tour of Business Resource Centres and 1D1F factories in the Western North, Ashanti and Bono East Regions paid a whistle stop at Darko Farms where he relished government’s revitalisation programme for struggling factories.

“This is an existing company that had fallen into distress because of harsh economic conditions in the past. If the government intends to support industries it should not only be to incubate industries but also resurrect existing industries in distress.

“This company falls into all categories we look for in 1D1F companies. It is creating a significant level of jobs,” Alan Kyeremanteng explained.

The impact of this capital will see a massive expansion of the production capacity of this poultry producing company.

Management of Darko Farms are confident that the production capacity will shoot up by nearly half – from four million day old chicks a year to seven million when the new equipment is installed.

Managing Director for Darko Farms, Samuel Darko, tells Joy Business, the intervention will shoot up capacity and export margins of the company.

“The 1D1F has really brought Darko Farms on the radar. We needed finance to augment production and that’s the impact we have seen.

“It’s a major input. With the intervention of 1D1F we will go into full production by December producing 200,000 birds a month, 60 tonnes of poultry farmers a day,” he expressed.