Honorable Minister of Tourism,
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen:
I am excited to be here tonight addressing individuals with such diverse professional achievements and great cooking skills. I welcome all of you to this year’s USAPEEC Gala Dinner. Tonight we celebrate high-quality U.S. poultry products. More importantly, we declare the winner of the 2016 USAPEEC Polytechnics Chicken Recipe Competition. This competition presents an opportunity for the skilled catering students of Ghana’s Polytechnics to demonstrate how quality U.S. poultry products can be used in Ghanaian cuisine.
In America, we have a long-standing joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? Do any of our Ghanaian friends know the punchline? Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side! OK, it’s actually a poor joke, but for some reason it is deeply ingrained in American culture. Rather than torment you with all the variations on this joke, let me offer instead just a few words about the chicken crossing the ocean.
Ladies and gentlemen, The unique thing about this USAPEEC cook-off program is the seamless collaboration with the local poultry association, the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers. The concept was instituted to lend support to the Ghanaian government’s efforts to improve domestic poultry production. USAPEEC and the U.S. government believe that there is space for all within the Ghanaian poultry market. As the poultry industry grows, as agriculture develops, so, too, does our relationship grow and our trade expands.
To assist Ghana with strengthening its local poultry industry, the U.S. government has rolled out two key projects under the Food for Progress program: the Ghana Poultry Project and AMPLIFIES, which stands for Assisting Management in the Poultry and Layer Industries by Feed Improvement and Efficiency Strategies. These projects are designed to improve the entrepreneurship of local Ghanaian producers throughout the full poultry value chain. Together, they are valued at $56 million and are expected to help bring needed transformation to the poultry value chain in Ghana—transformation that will stimulate economic growth and contribute to food security.
In just a short while, we’ll know the name of this year’s winner. That student will be rewarded with a full scholarship and airfare to pursue a culinary program in the United States, courtesy of USAPEEC. Let’s give them a hand for their support of education.
I will end by imploring all of you to continue the good will and the good work toward improving this segment of the food market and the Ghanaian poultry industry. Please eat more eggs and more poultry. Together, we are strengthening our agricultural ties and bringing new life to the poultry industry. Thank you!