The Ghanaian and South African chicken industries are joining forces in the fight against cheap imported chicken from the European Union (EU).
The Ghanaian and South African poultry associations, the anti-dumping campaign, FairPlay Movement, and the Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU) have signed a memorandum of understanding on the topic.
Francois Baird, founder of FairPlay, said they would campaign for a more level playing field, and added that everyone must abide by the same rules for food safety and packaging, protected trade tariffs, and fighting dumping and undercutting on prices.
Victor Adjei, chairperson of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), said Ghana once had a flourishing chicken industry, but since the 1980’s the government failed to protect the industry against dumped chicken.
Currently, local farmers only produce 5% of the market offering, despite recent steps taken to reduce imports. This includes a system were an importer could only obtain an import permit if they were able show that 40 % of their purchases are local.
Adjei said this system was misused and was not applied properly. “Imports are killing our industry,” he said. “We (the local industry) are not producing, because the prices are not competitive.”
He said the industry needs investment – for instance, there are only 3 abattoirs – but financing institutions asks questions about the market availability for the product.
“If we had fair playing field, we would have been able to create more than 200 000 job opportunities, compared to the current number of 10 000. If we want to fight against a strong force such as the EU, we should unite as Africa.”
Adjei said the advantages of locally produced chicken like freshness and safety should be highlighted.
Consumers, however, rather opt for imported chicken due to the cheaper price.
According to him European products are cheaper in Ghana compared to what he observed in Europe.