Meat Imports cost Ghana $200m

Ghana spends about $200 million annually to import meat and meat products to satisfy local demand.

Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), who disclosed this at a press briefing in Accra last week, said poultry imports alone constitute about 80 percent of total meat imports.

He said Ghana’s total meat imports rose from 97,719 metric tonnes in 2012 to 183,949 metric tonnes in 2013, representing an increase of 188 percent.

Kofi Humado added that domes­tic meat production constitutes about 30 percent of annual total consump­tion, excluding bush meat.

He said Government will ensure the enforcement of Clause 24 of the Diseases of Animals Act to curb excessive import of unwholesome poultry and other meat products.

Kofi Humado said Ghana is a member of the World Trade Organi­zation (WTO) and therefore imports and exports agricultural products depending on its comparative and competitive advantage.

The figures for the importation of items such as rice, poultry and toma­to are so staggering that they have become a threat to national economic said.

“MoFA has already taken the bull by the horn and has tasked a com­mittee to come out with a strategy that places agriculture at the center of turning this economy around within the next three years,” he said.

Kofi Humado said in 2013, provi­sional agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) increased from GHct5,716 million in 2008 to Ghc 16, 687 million at the end of 2013.

This, he said, showed a marked improvement in real, agricultural production in 2013 as against 2008.

“In the coming years, we expect Ghanaian agriculture to lose some ground in terms of percentage to industry and services as the country moves towards a service-based econ­omy,” Kofi Humado said.

The key thing now is to ensure that total agricultural production meets the food security, industrial and export needs of the economy, he said.

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