The Honorable Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts, Mrs. Catherine Afeku,
CEO of the Food and Drug Authority, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko,
Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alex Dodoo,
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening and welcome to this year’s USA Poultry and Egg Export Council – or USAPEEC – Gala Dinner. It is wonderful to be here tonight addressing such a diverse group of individuals from across industry and government, and of course a warm welcome to the highly skilled students that have participated in this year’s competition. Each year this event provides students the opportunity to demonstrate how U.S. poultry products can be used in Ghanaian cuisine, and in turn their creative efforts have showcased the high-quality of these products and ingredients.
Last year, I took the opportunity to share the classic American joke of why the chicken crossed the road. Tonight, I would like to share a variation: Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in the mud, and cross back to the other side? It was a dirty double-crosser.
Perhaps I can share some trivia. What is a chicken’s least favorite day of the week? Fry-day! That’s right; a little known fact. And now I want to get serious. Here is one more fun fact: In 2016, Ghana was the second largest export market for U.S. poultry in Sub-Saharan Africa, which explains why the chicken crossed the ocean. It is a relationship that we value greatly, and one that is mutually beneficial.
This event is unique for its 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. Given the enormous potential for poultry production and consumption in Ghana, USAPEEC and the U.S. government believe that there is space for all within the Ghanaian poultry market. As the poultry industry grows, and as agriculture develops, so too does our relationship through both capacity building and trade.
To help strengthen Ghana’s poultry industry, the United States is funding 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 transforming the domestic poultry value chain — transformation that will both stimulate economic growth and contribute to food security.
Soon we’ll know the name of this year’s winner. That student will be flown to the USA for a two-week culinary training course at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, courtesy of USAPEEC. In addition to their poultry promotion efforts, USAPEEC deserves a round of applause for their support of continued education in Ghana.
In closing, I encourage everyone to of course eat more poultry and eggs, and to continue the good will and good work taking place to develop the Ghanaian poultry industry. In doing so, we are strengthening our agricultural and business ties and bringing new life to the poultry industry while enhancing the lives of Ghanaian farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers. Thank you!