For almost every Ghanaian child who lived in the early ‘90’s, the sight of poultry, its related products and occasional rice accompanying dishes were a sign that it was Christmas.
With an incessant interaction with Western Culture and Ghana’s adaptation of a liberal trade policy, Christmas seemed no more annual but a daily ritual in most middle-income Ghanaian homes, as the nation’s poultry products import had more than quadrupled since the record of sketchy figures in 2002.
Ghana’s Domestic Poultry sector seems to be crushing following competition from American, Brazilian and European Union Poultry origins. Unlike the latter origins the former prior to battling chicken sale prices with their foreign counterparts, face other challenges, including high cost of production, lack of processing facilities, and high energy prices “Which continue to increase production cost by over 60%.”(Ghana Poultry Report-2013)
This makes the prices of Domestic Poultry products not competitive since imported poultry is said to be 30-40% cheaper than locally produced chicken. Ghanaian producers currently supply the Ghanaian market with only 10% of its total poultry demand as the nation has become somewhat of a “dumping grounds” for poultry products from the seemingly increasing foreign markets.
A common narrative about the poultry sector in Ghana suggests that the 1970s and 1980s was a kind of golden age when investments were made into the sector for a nearly self-sufficient production in chicken meat and eggs. But the era waned as economic crises brought on structural adjustment and trade policies associated with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and World Trade Organization (WTO), which in turn opened Ghana’s markets to ‘dumping’ and a flood of subsidized imports.
The total tariff on imported chicken is 40 per cent this is to give local poultry farmers a fair chance of competing with foreign farmers, who receive heavy subsidies from their governments. In February 2003 budget statement, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning proposed to introduce an additional 20 per cent tariff on imported poultry. This led to the enacting of the Customs and Excise Duties Amendment Act (641), which modified the Customs and Excise Duty Act 512 and legitimized high tariffs on poultry from 20 to 40 per cent.