Edith Akosah Wheatland earned yet another honor with the announcement that she is Ghana’s National Best Female Farmer of 2023. ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health congratulates the dynamic poultry producer and appreciates her leadership as a strategic partner for long-term trade, development and global food security.
Wheatland was living in the United States when she heard that Kentucky Fried Chicken was opening stores in her home country of Ghana. With this opportunity in mind, she built her business plan and moved back to Ghana to found Rockland Farms in 2013. Wheatland started with 8000 egg-laying hens. By 2023, she had expanded to 120,000 hens. She added a feed mill in 2020 and capitalized on WISHH technical assistance to improve its quality and efficiency. Today, she is founder and CEO of Rockland Farms as well as Rockland Meat and Eco Feeding Ghana Limited.
WISHH’s cooperation with Wheatland has also introduced her to the value and quality of U.S. soybean meal for her poultry feed. She is always on the lookout for U.S. Soy in her West African country. “U.S. soybean meal is the best,” says Wheatland.
She was a key partner in the USDA Food for Progress project, which WISHH led in Ghana between 2015 and 2020. Through the project, Wheatland joined WISHH for training in the United States on feed as well as poultry processing. She has invested in a blast freezer to offer a variety of poultry cuts, ranging from quarters and thighs to drumsticks to gizzards, to the Ghanaian marketplace.
The winner of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs Prize also has a long list of innovative ideas for additional business growth for poultry producers in Ghana. She has piloted a model for more farmers, including women and youth, to raise chickens for meat. Her efforts have created economic opportunities for more than 9000 farmers with small plots of maize as well as more than 400 poultry producers. More than 90% of those poultry producers are women and youth. She is also working to create small loan programs and educate women about these financial opportunities.
Wheatland is also a leader in taking action for food security, including she has provided eggs to 25 local schools for child nutrition programs since 2019. She sums up the definition of global food security as “peace and security.”
The United Soybean Board supports WISHH’s strategy to build new markets for U.S. Soy through the improvement of health, nutrition and food security in sub-Saharan Africa.