Members of the Ashanti Regional Association of Poultry Farmers have attributed the low patronage of local chicken during the Christmas and New Year season to the continuous importation of chicken into the country during the period.
“As you all know Christmas is the time when poultry farmers sell a lot of chicken, be it broilers and especially spent layers. Unfortunately for us, the story on the table is that this Christmas our sales record was so bad. As we speak now there are hundreds of thousands of spent layers on our farms that should have been sold during Christmas which were not sold,” the spokesperson of the Association, John Bewuah Edusei said.“The reason is the imported chicken which has been dumped on us. The dumping of imported chicken is destroying an industry that has the capability to provide so many jobs for our youths who are running up and down the country looking for jobs to do.”
The farmers have accused successive administrations of not doing enough to stop the continuous importation of chicken which has proven inimical to the poultry industry in Ghana.
“Government after government promises jobs and revamping the poultry industry, but we are seeing rather a serious decline and a possible collapse of an industry that was very vibrant,” he said.
“As I speak now, Ghana’s total poultry and chicken imports of about two hundred and fifty thousand metric tons works to a weekly production of 4.5 million kilo chicken production. What I mean is that if Ghanaian farmers were supposed to produce to feed our country with chicken, we are supposed to produce 4.5 million kilo chicken per week, and this is a huge job avenue, and work that is being thrown out there for people to bring in dumped chicken which nobody knows where it’s coming from.”
The Association also claims that high profile personalities, politicians and other business persons linked to the Presidency have been engaging in the importation of chicken, a development which they say threatens the local industry.
“We think it’s time government sits up and see to it, we know of people linked to the presidency, people linked to the council of state, people aligned with parliament and a few other businessmen who have made this their business and trying to bring in everything, at the expense of an industry that is dying and at the expense of an industry that has the ability to produce so many jobs for our youths. And this, we think is wrong.” John Bewuah Edusei added.
At a news conference in Kumasi, the Association called on the Deputy Minister Agriculture in charge of livestock to “sit up or resign.”
“We call on the government to sit up; we call on the ministry to sit up. As we speak now, we do not know the deputy minister who is in charge of us. We are told that there is somebody in the presidency that is in charge of livestock and we think that he is not doing his job,” Mr. Eduseo said.
“If he has any conscience we want him to resign because for a whole year in administration we have not had any interactions with him.”
John Bewuah Edusei further called on various stakeholders to rally behind the Ashanti Regional Association of Poultry Farmers to successfully bring an end to the situation.
“We are calling on the catholic bishop conference, they have done it before, they have called for government to review the fact that there is too many chicken coming into this country, we are calling on our doctors and nurses, we are calling on our parliamentarians, they represent us. We are calling on all professional bodies to rise up and fight with us, because we are eating something which sources we are not aware of and we think that it is wrong,” he added.
By: Ann-Shirley Ziwu/Hafiz Tijani/citifmonline.com/Ghana