General News of Sunday, 10 November 2002
Source: Daily Graphic
The President of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), Mrs Elizabeth Villars, has called on the government to ban the importation of frozen chicken into the country. She said the products, apart from stifling local poultry industry, also have serious health problems fro consumers in the country.
Mrs Villars made the call during a round-table discussion on increasing direct farm support in the country. The discussion, organised by PEF, was meant to find solutions to common problems facing the poultry industry in the country and make recommendations to the government. It attracted participants from the research institutions, academia, farmers, parliamentarians and council members of PEF.
The President of PEF said the country cannot afford to implement policies from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that are inimical to the growth of businesses in the country and also make the country a dumping ground for inferior goods. She said the importation of such goods has led to the virtual collapse of the poultry industry in the country and called for urgent government intervention to stop the trend.
The President of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), Kenneth Quartey, said between 2000 and frozen chicken into the country doubled the value from $11m to $26m. He called on government to implement the proposed broiler revitalisation programme that will ensure that the industry supply about 95 per cent of local demand within 10 years.
He, therefore, called on the government to formulate appropriate policies that will ensure direct support for the poultry industry and agriculture as a whole. “The economic viability of enterprises that operate in the agricultural sector will have the added benefit of encouraging producers to protect our natural resources, maintain a healthy environment and build stronger rural communities, he said.
Discussants at the forum called on the government to support the agricultural sector. However, they contended that such support should not necessarily be a subsidy to the sector; it could be in the form of providing the marketing potential for their produce, improving infrastructure that will ensure that will ensure that producing poultry in the country is cost-effective.