Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has rejected calls by local poultry farmers to ban imported chicken.

Joseph Kwasi Boamah says a ban will be rather counter-productive to the quest to grow the sector.

In Ghana the demand for poultry products as a source of protein has increased steadily over the last three decades and will continue over the next 34 years.

This demand is partly due to significant factors like; increase in urban population growth rates, increasing average per capita income of urban dwellers leading to better purchasing power and increasing per capita meat consumption triggered by a shift in eating patterns from home cooking to fast foods that have chicken almost always as the meat of choice.

Most eateries in Greater Accra also find chicken as the most convenient and affordable meat of choice for preparing both continental and local dishes.

The United Nations (UN) population prospects (medium variant) corroborates the influence of these factors on demand for poultry meat, in that, it projects a global population growth rate of 34 percent to increase the world’s population to 9.1 billion by 2050 with a significant increase in absolute growth projected at 120 percent.

This is to take place in urban arears of developing countries thereby increasing the world’s urban populations to over 70 percent of the world’s population by 2050.  This is predicted to occur with income levels rising to many multiples of what currently pertains today.

In the same period UN population prospects projects global per capita meat consumption to rise from 41kg to 52kg with a corresponding rise from an average of 30kg to 44kg for that of developing countries.

Thus Ghana should be poised to implement favourable policies that will take advantage of these factors to improve on the local poultry industry’s market share, majority of its farmers have small and medium scale farms.

Other factors that influence the development of the poultry industry include technical knowledge, as science and technology evolves, availability of natural resources including water and solar energy as well as the management of trade barriers.

Speaking to JOYBUSINESS at the launch of a USAID report on Ghana’s Poultry Industry, Mr Kwasi Boamah indicated government would support poultry farmers and allow competition for consumers to get value for money.

"When you allow competition, it makes the industry thrive but when you ban you make the people lazy," he said.

Mr Kwasi Boamah said the two must be allow to co-exist although he thinks if the local poultry is given better feed.