Ghana’s poultry industry needs rescuing – again

Ghana’s poultry industry has long been an example of what can go wrong when dumped chicken imports flood the country, particularly from the European Union because of duty-free trade agreements with the EU.

FairPlay has repeatedly reminded people that in 2016 the Ghanain industry had collapsed because imports had taken 95% of the market. The country’s then prime minister told the United Nations that the resultant job losses were one of the reasons that Ghanaian migrants were heading to Europe.

Reviving the industry after the imports devastation has been an expensive business. Initially it involved a five-year programme by the US Department of Agriculture, and the government’s Broiler Revitalisation Programme, supported by an $87 million loan from the country’s Agricultural Development Bank.

Now Poultry World reports that the Ghanaian government has committed a “massive investment” of a further $541 million to improve the industry – dumped imports have continued and the local industry says it is once again near to collapse.

The journal quoted the chief director of the country’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Robert Ankobia, as saying the investment would bring the country a step closer to achieving self-sufficiency in poultry meat products.

The Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association said that, while the country’s poultry sector was on the verge of collapse, Ghana imported nearly 600 000 tonnes of frozen chicken valued at $600 million every year.

The latest Ghana government investment aims to expand domestic production from the current 50 000 tonnes per year to an envisaged 450 000 tonnes, and to increase the value of Ghana’s poultry sector from the existing $62 million to $562 million, according to Ankobia.

Let’s hope that this time it works.