The Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana (GAFPA) has called on government to reduce the importation of chicken ahead of the festive season to save the local poultry industry.
The Association says local poultry farmers still incur losses as consumers opt for imported chicken over the broilers produced in the country.
Speaking at a stakeholder meeting in Accra, Vice President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association of Ghana, Michael Ampem says the reduction of importation of chicken by government will also reduce the rate of unemployment.
“The imported chicken has been with us for more that two decades. It is affecting us and the money people have to pay in engaging workers. The importation doesn’t employ people. It rather employs people in the other countries. It is just the end products which are the birds that come. So if we reduce the importation, it will create employment.”
The poultry farmers are mournful over the negative impact of the importation of foreign chicken on their operations.
They argue that, they end up running at a loss whenever citizens patronize the cheap frozen chicken.
According to them, although government claims to have reduced the importation of chicken, they are yet to experience its benefits.
Currently, the farmers operate two 5-tonne per hour integrated feed mills, with bagging system.
Despite this, members of the association believe that with other necessary government interventions, they could achieve more to feed their poultry in order to be competitive on the market.
GAFPA is however hopeful that government’s ability to reduce the importation of chicken will go a long way to create employment for the citizenry.
In Ghana, data shows that in 2017, over 135,000 tonnes of frozen chicken, which is about 112 million birds, was imported from the European Union.
The figure was a 76 per cent increase over what was imported in the previous year.
Estimatedly, there is an annual increase in chicken consumption of about six per cent in the country.