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AGRICULTURE : Poultry development fund in the offing
Government is seeking innovative ways to institute a poultry development fund to boost poultry production in the country.
There are also plans to adopt the use of tariff and non-tariff measures to restrict the importation of poultry products into the country.
Dr Tia Alfred Sugri, Deputy Minister of Agriculture in-charge of Livestock, announced this during a Ghana Business Report debate on the topic “Is Importing Chicken Good for Ghana?”.
It was organised by Accra-based Channel Two Production, a media organisation as part of a thirty-minute documentary to be telecast on television.
The Deputy Minister said discussion was already underway with stakeholders to implement the measures soon to put the poultry industry back on track, adding, “Government is aware that imported poultry products are impacting negatively on the local poultry industry.”
Dr Sugri said to ensure access to affordable credit, government was expanding the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) to cater for the needs of farmers.
In addition, government would continue with subsidies on fertilizers and cereals to ease the burden on farmers.
Mr Nabil Mourkazel, Managing Director of FinaTrade, said every trader was looking at efforts to make profit and would always endeavour to maximise profits.
"Whether it’s imported or produced locally doesn’t change anything for us. As long as we can buy that product and it gives us a margin of profit. We don’t have preference for imported products.”
Mr Nabil added: “We’re targets, but the reality is that the poultry industry needs to lookat the real problems as to why they haven’t succeeded.”
Mr Kenneth Quartey, Managing Director of Sydel Farms, said the cost of imported poultry products was relatively cheaper because foreign farmers received heavy subsidy from their governments making it difficult for locals to compete.
“Our development partners invest about $240 billion a year through subsidies on agriculture. That’s a capital base that is difficult to compete with when you’re looking at it from the perspective of developed versus under-developed countries,” he said.
In addition, Mr Quartey said the import duty of 20 per cent levied on poultry products was ridiculously low and barely added any cost to the importers while local farmers had to bear with high production costs.
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