Following confirmed outbreaks of the Avian influenza also known as “Bird Flu” in the Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has banned the importation of poultry products into the country.
According to a statement released from the Ministry,
“The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, through its Veterinary Services Directorate, has confirmed the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, otherwise known as Bird Flu in some parts of the country. These are the Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions. The outbreak of the disease follows the detection of similar cases in neighbouring countries since January 2021. Through effective surveillance and disease control management, the Veterinary Services Directorate has prevented the extension of the disease into Ghana until now,”
” The Ministry is therefore calling for a joint effort with the general public in the fight against the bird flu. The Ministry wishes to assure the general public that there is no cause for fear and panic since the Veterinary Services Directorate is taking all necessary steps to contain the outbreak and spread of the disease to other parts of the country. The success of this call hinges on the full cooperation of the general public.”
The highly pathogenic avian influenza could affect about 600,000 farm animals. Already, nearly 6,000 birds have died naturally with 4,500 culled as part of monitoring and disease control management. With poultry birds already dying due to inadequate feeds, farmers have began lamenting the impact this would have on their businesses.
“It is a double blow because we are reeling under the unavailability of maize and other resources for production and then this [outbreak] comes in. It is a big blow and really going to affect the way we do things because the government said importation of day-old chicks from neighbouring countries that have been affected has been banned, so it is going to affect the already precarious situation and make it worse. It is a not pleasant time for poultry farmers,” said the president of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko Ampem in an online interview monitored by Ghana Talks Business.
The impact of the Avian Influenza will not only impact poultry farmers but may increase price pressures. Already rise in fuel prices have driven up transportation costs with food prices also rising. This has caused inflation rate to rise to 7.8% in June.