Successful Webinar on Poultry Sector in West Africa
Background and Rationale
West Africa is a huge market with 400 million inhabitants. A number that is set to double by 2050. Poultry is an immensely important part of the diet in the region with a lot of room to grow, both in meat and eggs. A lot of meat is imported while the governments in the region aim to become more self-sufficient. The current COVID19 pandemic would seem to strengthen this desire further.
The Agricultural Counselors responsible for Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal all see poultry as a priority sector, based on indications in these countries. Research into the opportunities for Dutch businesses in these countries have already been carried out or are underway.
The development of the poultry value chains in West Africa presents both a challenge and even greater business opportunities for investors and suppliers of technology. The poultry markets, which has seen a lot of imports in the past years, leading to a near collapse is due to see some reforms in the coming years; reforms based on government policies set out in all these countries
Considering the important role poultry plays in the diet and the economies of West Africa, as well as the sector’s challenges and opportunities for the Dutch businesses, a webinar was held on the 30th of June 2020. The webinar focused on 3 topics:
- Immediate impact on the COVID19 crisis on the poultry sector in all 4 countries;
- Opportunities in the 4 countries based on recent reports;
- Paving the way towards a strategic and programmatic approach for the region or individual countries
The webinar was organized by RVO and the Agricultural Departments of the NL Embassies in the four countries. From the private sector Rabobank represented the Taskforce Africa, a private-public cooperation initiative to promote business opportunities in Africa in the Netherland. The Dutch Poultry Centre (DPC), representing the Dutch suppliers of poultry technology and materials, was also one of the co-organizers.
Presentations at the webinar focused on four main areas, which were also the main objectives of the webinar. These objectives are outlined below:
- Overview of the poultry value chains in the 4 countries
- Government’s policies
- Business Opportunities
- Why invest in or trade with a particular country in West Africa?
Participation and Format
The webinar involvement was encouraging, with about 65 participants from the private sector actively participating, mostly from Netherlands and some of the target countries. Next to the private sector, staff of Dutch embassies, representatives of RVO, DPC, PUM and DAP that are active along various points of the poultry value chain participated in the webinar.
After opening remarks by Bram Wits (agricultural Counselor for Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast) and Niek Schelling, (Agricultural Counselor for Senegal and Morocco) a general presentation was made by Brian Udoh (Agricultural Advisor, Nigeria), giving a general overview of the West African Poultry sector and the impact of COVID-19. The presentation made mention of how countries in West Africa are responding to the COVID-19 impacts. One important point was how the pandemic has made more evident, the shortfalls of the sector in all four countries.
Outcomes and Results
This webinar was the first of its kind to be organized at a regional level since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was obvious, the high levels of interest on the part of Dutch businesses and the readiness of PUM to step in and be a source of knowledge where need arose.
It was agreed that there was the need for Dutch businesses to make critical choices. Identify where there is the need or possibility to work together. DO we need to make critical choices?
Some key points that came out through all five presentations were summarized thus:
- All four countries have plans for the poultry sector. There is no need to start from scratch since all countries have some basic infrastructure
- All four countries have ports and local crops
- Population growing very fast in the four countries
- There is good Trade with the hinterlands. A lot of work has to be done to explore these markets
- RVO is helping very well develop projects in these countries
- Senegal is working on a poultry study and the other countries have either done the same already or still in the process. These reports could serve as good basis for getting informed and deciding on which country to venture into
Need to give feedback by partners on if they really see it as an opportunity to invest not only money but time in any of these countries.
Jan Hulzebosch from Dutch Poultry Centre (DPC) suggested to make a choice and advised to focus on 1 or 2 countries. Nan-Dirk Mulder from Rabobank also gave some insights on how to make that choice.
But how can we come to that choice? ‘Together with DPC, NABC/DAP, Rabobank and other interested we can together with interested parties discuss further on which countries we will focus. Maybe we can make a kind of consortium, like in Indonesia and in India. You can make a very nice total package including training”, said Jan Hulzebosch from DPC.
Through the LinkedIn group participants can stay in touch and we will share further information. For those interested we will plan a focused meeting after the summer holidays. In this way we can make focus and start working together in the Poultry sector in West Africa.
You can follow the links Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to read Poultry Sector Studies that were commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) for the two countries. The sector studies for Nigeria and Senegal will soon be published as well. Would you like to know more? Please contact the following e-mail addresses for the various countries:
Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast : firstname.lastname@example.org
Senegal : email@example.com