The Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Food and Agriculture, Dr Gyiele Nurah said the restriction on the importation of frozen chicken is to prevent the domestic poultry industry in Ghana from collapsing.
This is to prevent the collapse of the domestic poultry industry in Ghana.
The Minister of State was speaking at the opening session of the 2nd Poultry Value Chain (POVAC) fair held in Sunyani.
He said the ‘ban’ is in response to calls by the domestic poultry actors to disallow the importation of frozen chicken since it is one of the major challenges collapsing the local poultry industry.
However, he said that they will not hesitate to reverse the policy if poultry producers do not meet the local demands.
“Now that we have reduced importation of frozen chicken, domestic producers must be prepared to feed the people. But if we see that it is not working, then we have to reverse it – because the government has the responsibility to feed the people as well as support local poultry producers.”
“Ideally, the government would want to feed the consumers with locally-produced chicken. Local producers must cut themselves away from the era of marketing birds with feathers to marketing processed birds and chicken meat products, including sausages and barbecue. We must develop value chains that will make all the difference in our earnings from the poultry industry. And the time to begin to do that is now,” he added.
According to the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), over 135,000 metric tonnes of frozen chicken was imported from the European Zone to Ghana in 2017 – representing a 76% increase over 2016 imports; the 2017 frozen chicken imports constituted about 112 million birds.
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They blamed this situation on the importation of frozen chicken as well as the lack of capital.
The minister promised that the government will work tirelessly to ensure that the poultry industry is transformed.
“While the government will roll out specific interventions to support the smallholder local poultry sector, the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign takes into account reducing the cost of feed inputs which form more than 60% of poultry production costs.”
In a related development, the National Chairman of GNAPF, Victor Oppong Adjei, called on the government to come up with more prudent policies that will cushion growth and development of the local poultry industry along its value chain.