AGI issues an alert concerning imported frozen chicken
According to records from the Association of Ghana Industries-Agriculture Sector, imported frozen chicken and other meat products are maintained for at least three years before reaching target markets in Africa, particularly Ghana.
Fatima Ali Mohamed, vice chair of the AGI-Agriculture Sector, told B&FT that the situation is critical and that Ghana must act fast to stop the escalating importation of meat and poultry items onto the local market that are possibly carcinogen-contaminated.
The Association’s trade statistics also reveals a dramatic increase in monthly imports of frozen chicken and other products, from 2.8 million kilograms in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 3.4 million kilograms (kg).
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“This chicken and imported beef were killed years ago. They weren’t put to death last month and transported here the month after. The majority have been injected for preservation, and there is a strong probability that they will have detrimental health effects, including cancer, which is on the rise in Ghana, Ms. Ali Mohamed added.
She emphasized the requirement for both the public and commercial sectors to start localizing food, particularly in the poultry and meat subsector and other necessary food items, such as milk products, which have a high import cost.
Rising imports of chicken
According to data from the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), the nation imported more than 600,000 tonnes of frozen chicken in 2021.
The data, which comes from the European Union (EU), showed that the country purchased chicken from the EU last year for over US$600 million.
The local poultry industry now only accounts for 2% of the chicken market, which is dominated by imports with a 98% share, according to the GNAPF.
Dumping is a problem
Victor Oppong Adjei, president of GNAPF, said the issue is concerning during a consultative meeting between the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) and stakeholders in the poultry value chain in Accra in August of this year.
After B&FT published an article with the heading “Suspected dumping strikes poultry sector,” using information from the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, a consultation meeting was convened.
According to data from the GNAPF, the US and Brazil are the top two exporters of chicken to Ghana, with the EU coming in third.
The third-largest exporter, the EU, shipped almost 227,000 tonnes to the nation last year, but the US and Brazil exported more than twice as much.