Some players in Ghana’s poultry industry have called on government to deliberately introduce policies that will boost the local consumption of poultry as the industry struggles with cheaper imported poultry.
The local poultry industry, which suffers largely from minimal government support and excess importation, recently witnessed a jump in demand following limited importation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko-Ampem, told Citi Business News if hotels and restaurants of high standing also make it a policy to serve only local poultry as done by Coconut Groove Hotels, it will go a long way to
“We believe that when the hotels are encouraged through policy to patronize locally produced chicken, it will automatically create a market for people to go into the industry and produce” President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko-Ampem told Citi Business News.
“For instance, Coconut Grove Hotel, they serve purely local poultry and I applaud them. I will wish that the other hotels will also look at it as a national policy, as a way of helping the economy. Even if it is on a 50:50 bases we will still be okay with it” he said.
International news agency, Reuters, reports that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on workers at U.S. meat and poultry processing facilities, with more than 17,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 100 deaths in April and May, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This has affected the export of poultry from the US to countries like Ghana, one of its major export markets.
According to the President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko-Ampem, there has been a slight increase in the consumption of local poultry products due to this situation.
Ghana spends over 350 million dollars annually to import poultry products.
Government has indicated its commitment to increase local production and eventually ban importation by the year 2023.
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 percent increase over what was imported in the previous year.
In estimation, there is an annual increase in chicken consumption of about six percent in the country.