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Business News of Saturday, 24 July 2021

Source: GNA

Chicken patronage at Tema markets takes a nose dive

Cheaper frozen chicken has become more preferred to live birds Cheaper frozen chicken has become more preferred to live birds

Patronage of chicken and eggs at the Tema Community One market have flopped drastically, with traders expressing fear of the imminent collapse of the business.

They therefore called for immediate intervention by government to save the sector.

Scores of dealers in poultry products though debunked the suggestion that the problem was due to the outbreak of bird flu in some parts of the country, attributed it to scarcity of chicken and eggs even before the outbreak, and faintly admitted that bird flu might have insignificant impact.

The traders told the Ghana News Agency during the midweek, GNA-Tema market survey conducted in major trading centres in the Tema Metropolis on the impact of the bird flu on chicken products.

The traders rather lamented over the increment of poultry products, attributing the problem to high cost in shipment fees and the unavailability of poultry feed.

Madam Janet Aba, a dealer in live poultry, said “there was no feed, so people who deal in chicken were not ready to sell and that had made those who already have stock to increase the price.

“The only feed available at the Timber market is broiler starter; wheat barn which comes after every other month has totally disappeared from the market,” she said.

She said, “In recent times, some customers would want to buy a live chicken at GHc20.00 but looking at the high cost of chicken these days, they do not buy, but prefer the frozen chicken because it is cheaper”.

Madam Precious Akweley told the GNA-Tema market survey team that one could buy a layer chicken at GHC35.00 or GHC40.00 with the broilers pegged at GHC60.00, whereas a kilo of frozen chicken was sold between GHC12.00 and GHC14.00.

She said recent visit to some of the farm gates indicated that poultry farmers want to lay-off workers due to the poor patronage, which have affected business as a result of unavailability of poultry feed, “we cannot pay our workers”.

Sister Akua Attah, a cold store operator, said just last week the price of a crate of frozen chicken was sold at GHC137.00 but had increased to GHC142.00 this week.

She attributed the increase in prices of eggs to shortage of feed, stating that a crate of egg ranged between GHC20.00 and GHC24.00 depending on the sizes though previously it was sold between GHC16.00 and GHC20.00.

An attendant at Dora Cold Store, said previously COVID-19 impacted negatively on the sale of frozen chicken due to the restrictions placed on shipment.

He however noted that in recent times the increment in shipping fee had contributed to the high cost of frozen chicken, stating that previously one pound of soft frozen chicken was sold at GHC11.00 while hard frozen chicken was pegged at GHC13.00, but now they cost GHC14.00 and GHC15.00 respectively.

He however appealed to the government to protect the poultry industry and also provide adequate feed to farmers, stating that the industry employed thousands of workers on the value chain, and its collapse could lead to people losing their livelihood and add up to the number of unemployment in the country.