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Poultry Farmers Criticize Government

by 5m Editor
24 February 2012, at 8:43am

GHANA - Members of Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAF) are unhappy with the neglect of the poultry industry by various governments in the country.

According to GhanaWeb, the poultry farmers accused the current National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of failing to revamp the industry in fulfillment of its promise.

Dr Yao Graham, Executive Director, Third World Network speaking on theme, ‘Value Chain –the Poultry Industry vis-à-vis Employment, Import Substitution,’ noted that the failure of the Mills administration to comment on challenges facing the poultry industry during his recent state of the nation’s address indicated that the current administration does not have anything meaningful for the local poultry farmers.

"The president, in his speech, devoted more space to employment creation and said nothing about challenges facing domestic industry. All the presidents’ concern when commenting on farming was on cocoa, which is an export crop," said Dr Graham.

William Awuku Ahiadormey, Managing Director, Agricare speaking on the theme, "Ghanaian Poultry Industry: The Tariff Factor and the Revanp Strategy” reiterated that until 2002 50 per cent of the market was served by the local industry.

"In 2002 government put some tariff on imported chicken but somewhere along the line removed the tariff without the knowledge of the poultry farmers."

According to him, importers of poultry farmers took advantage of the removal of the tariff and imported more chicken into the country.

Mr Ahiadormey indicated that in 2005 the percentage of poultry rose to 65 per cent whilst the local produce stood at 35 per cent, stressing that 92 per cent of broilers were imported as against 8 per cent produced by local farmers.

According to Mr Ahiadormey, "They always blame the inability to protect the local industry on World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Bank.

"However, just about a year ago, Pascal Larby, WTO Boss was in Ghana and flatly denied that his outfit was preventing the government from imposing high tariff on the importation of poultry products.

"This is a clear indication that various government had just failed to protect us for example when the IMF came out clearly to say that the refusal to place tariff on imported chicken was a mistake from the leaders as the leadership of this country was entirely responsible."

He said $46 million was offered by the World Bank to help the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).

The Chairman for the occasion, Philip Abayori, urged the poultry farmers to collaborate with importers of poultry products to build the local poultry industry. Mr Abayori, who is also the President of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, called for cooperation in order to draw government’s attention to their concerns.

The event was also used to launch the association’s website, www.gnapf.com Other speakers at the function included Margaret Hanson-Chief Dietician-Ministry of Health and John Torto, Chairman, Oyarifa Livestock Farmers Association.