The virus, COVID-19, has had a huge impact on our daily personal lives and businesses. Markets were closed, borders closed, restaurants shut, buses parked and long distance travels terminated. It was a long, unproductive but resource consuming months. These months took everything Ali, one of our Small Business Owners(SBOs) worked tirelessly for.
The consequences of the virus has had a direct impact on Ali’s poultry farm. Those familiar with poultry farming know that it could be for both egg and meat production. But that there would be a period of time when the fowls would not be good for eggs but for meat only. The time the fowls laid the eggs was the time the markets, schools and restaurants were shut. So he gave most away, some at very low prices. The time the fowls were no longer good for eggs, there was no market, schools and restaurants for sales.
The especially debilitating loss Ali had to face was feeding the fowls that gave him no income in return. Where did the feeds come from? There was no where else than from personal money. He did this hoping for markets and restaurants and parties to be allowed to take place so he could sell at good prices. Now, there is nothing wrong with pushing in personal money for business use. But there is everything worrying and discouraging to have pushed in personal money hoping to be rewarded in profit but only to run at a loss.
The little he got from the old fowls he was able to sell was used to order for more chicks. This proves his determination to sustain the farm. But no – this is not happening. He cannot because borders are closed. He cannot get them Ghana here. He had to inform his supplier to use his money for feeds to be able to feed the remaining fowls. This is so sad. It shows nothing but a dying farm. There has not also been any policy in Ghana during this crises to subsidise poultry farms that are particularly hard hit by COVID-19. Ali has responsibilities as a husband and father, and we want to do what we can to support him.
To help people like Ali get their businesses back on track, donate to ATE’s Rebuild campaign and contribute to a small business recovery grant. Thriving businesses create sustainable foundations and lift up communities.
Written by Rexford Benon, Admin and MEL Leader and Hub Manager