The Chairman of the Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association (GNPFA), Mr Victor Oppong Adjei, has called for the imposition of high tariffs by the government on the importation of poultry products, including frozen chicken.
This, according to him, would help discourage individuals from importation of the poultry products while promoting local production.
Mr Adjei made the call in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times over the weekend when he shared his opinion on the decision made by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) last month to withdraw its foreign exchange support for certain food products including poultry.
While commending the BoG for such a decision which would help improve local businesses, Mr Adjei emphasised that such decision alone would not help address the issue as importers had different ways of getting monies for import, hence, the need to impose higher tariffs on importation.
“We all embrace the decision of the BoG to withdraw foreign exchange support on importation of certain products which include poultry. But my concern is that most of the importers, have their monies abroad and there are so many ways and means to get money for their import.
Therefore, the decision of the BoG will not have a drastic effect on them as they can still bring in goods. I am of the view that apart from bringing about such measures, the government should have also come out with high tariffs on importation so that if you get your money and you bring the goods, the high tariffs will control the influx”, Mr Adjei said.
Mr Adjei further decried the challenges faced by the poultry industry such as the high cost of poultry feed through-out the year which had forced a lot of poultry farmers out of the industry as there was a possibility of a total collapse.
“Looking at the year in retrospective, I will say the performance of the poultry industry has been abysmal, challenging, and devastating. We never expected that the poultry industry will be on the verge of collapsing because we, in the poultry industry believe that it is one of the industries that can increase the dynamics of the country’s economy by creating jobs”, Mr Adjei said.
“Unfortunately, from last year till date the challenges continue to accelerate. Basically, poultry is all about the feed and when we talk of the feed we are talking about the ingredients that add up to complete the feed.
Due to this, poultry farmers are incurring debt and it has become critical that most of them have sold their birds but are not ready to restock the farms with 70 per cent venturing into fishing,” Mr Adjei added.
Going forward, he appealed to the government to help the poultry farmers obtain the poultry feed at an affordable price by subsidising the maize and soya feed to enable the poultry farmers purchase them.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTONTETTEY & CHARLLOTTE BARNS