The recent outbreak of bird flu in Accra and Tema triggered fears among consumers who are unsure about buying chicken for the Christmas.
Chicken is a mainstay of Ghanaian meals especially around the Christmas period when chicken sales on the market place normally shoot up.The Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of livestock, Dr Hannah Bissiw, has told Citi News the recent outbreaks on a few farms in Accra and Tema have been curtailed.
Dr. Bissiw, a veterinary doctor by training, says even though there is a restriction on the movement of poultry and poultry products, the birds being sold on the markets are safe.
“There is no cause for alarm at all. People can freely go to the market and purchase their birds.”
According to her, no bird will even survive an infection of the bird flu long enough to make it to the market place.
“You’re not even going to get a single bed alive or any bird that will survive for it to find itself on the market… If the virus hits your farm, if you have 100, 000 birds, you’re going to lose them in a matter of two days. All these birds are healthy to consume,” she assured.
Her assurances have translated well onto the market place as the sale of poultry doesn’t appear to have been affected by the bird flu scare.
Citi News’ Farida Shaibu whho visited the Accra Central Business District reported that the demand for poultry ahead of the yuletide remains high.
Traders in poultry told her they take precautions against the bird flu scare by only buying live health birds from farmers.
“When we go to poultry farms, we normally check so we don’t buy birds that are sick,” one trader noted.
The traders added that there is a high demand for poultry products with peak sales recorded during the weekends.
Some say on a good business day, they are able to sell between 300 and 400 fowls.
One optimistic trader said “We are expecting the farmers to supply more so we can also get more and supply to our consumers.”