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Festive Season: Poultry farmers charge govt to lift ban on poultry

The farmers are bemoaning the effects the ban has had on their business, and the possibility of it further collapsing their business in the face of the festive season.

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Poultry farmers in some parts of the country are calling for the ban on movement of poultry from Accra to other parts of the country.

The farmers are bemoaning the effects the ban has had on their business, and the possibility of it further collapsing their business in the face of the festive season.

The festive season is usually a time of peak demand for poultry products. The farmers are therefore unhappy about the transport restricitions.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture found it necessary to institute the ban in June 2015 after More than 23,000 birds died from the  deadly strain of Avian Influenza, bird-to-bird flu. 140,000 were destroyed to contain the outbreak over two months ago.

The Greater Accra, Volta and Ashanti regions recorded cases of the flu.

Meanwhile, Former Chairman of the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association (GNPFA), Mr Kwadwo Asante, raised concerns about the reportage of the disease.

According to him, any time the industry gather momentum to increase its capacity to meet the deficit in the sector the disease would be recorded to ruin the progress made.

Mr. Asante smells foul play within the industry but was unable to pinpoint on specifics in the sector.  

In a related development, Players in the poultry industry have been dissatisfied about the development in the sector and have called on the government to declare Ghana free from bird flu epidemic because the disease was no more in the country.

According to them, the last time the disease was recorded in the country was about six months ago; hence, the call to lift the ban.

The farmers, who spoke to the Graphic Business on condition of anonymity, said the internal movement control mechanisms if not lifted would have a negative impact on the fortunes of the farmers during the festive season.

They said sales had slumped to about 75 per cent ever since the disease was recorded and disseminated over the media, adding that even though they were hoping for the best, they do not know what to expect in Christmas.

When the paper contacted the Chairman of the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association (GNPFA), Mr Victor Opong Adjei, he said Ghana was free from the bird flu at the moment but the association was waiting for the MoFA to announce to the entire country.

“Since we do not have the virus in the country any more, the association is hoping the government lifts the ban very soon,” he said.

Responding to the restriction on the movement of birds in the country, he said presently there was no ban and that the directive applied only to the Greater Accra Region.

Moving forward, he said the association expected the sales of poultry birds to increase before Christmas, even though the trend of the market was still down.

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