Following a recent ban on the importation and hawking of poultry in the country by government, Business Day checks have shown mixed reactions from traders who deal in poultry.

While some traders say the bird flu outbreak and subsequent ban on poultry has greatly affected the patronage of poultry products, others say there is still great demand for chicken.

Despite the ban on the movement of live poultry into and within Ghana, a visit to the Achimota Market showed that there is still a market for chicken regardless of the outbreak of bird flu.

Some traders who use poultry products told this paper that their revenue for the sale of poultry product has neither decreased nor increased following the ban.

A fast food vendor revealed that people still buy chicken at her joint with revenues she make from the sale of chicken remaining the same since the outbreak of the disease. According to her, the disease will not affect one if the meat is well cooked and preserved.

?The outbreak of the bird flu could go a long way to affect the activities of cold store operators, food vendors and consumers, if government does not put proper measures in place to curb it?, she opined.

A mini cold store operator also confirmed that business was still booming regardless of the outbreak of the disease. She explained that the disease was not rampant in Accra because the number of poultry farms in the capital were few as compared to those in other regions.

The general overseer of Las Palmas branch in Lapaz said the outbreak of the disease was not affecting their business in any way. She confirmed that consumers have been buying chicken since the outbreak of the disease.

?There hasn?t been a decrease in the purchase of chicken since I heard there is an outbreak of bird flu,? she said.

However, some food vendors and cold store operators at kwashieman say the outbreak of the disease has had adverse effects on their businesses.

At J GYIMA FARM, a staff lamented how the outbreak of the disease has resulted in the low patronage of chicken.

?Before, I sold about 50 pounds of chicken a day, but since the outbreak of the disease the highest I can sell is five pounds. My customers have ceased buying chicken. I might stop selling chicken until the disease is over. I have a few of it in the fridge but it might get spoilt if it is not purchased on time. I can?t reduce the prices because I will run at a loss so I am going to hold on to the selling of chicken till the disease is over? she said.

At Batanpa Fast Food joint, the owner, Madam Hectoria, said business is dwindling due to the outbreak of the bird flu.

?Many people have stopped asking for chicken when they buy the fried rice, they either ask for fish or take the rice without meat or fish. Others do not buy the food when I tell them I do not have fish. This flu is ?killing? my business?, she lamented adding that she would resort to selling fish if the government does not curb the menace immediately.

On a different turn, some individuals have added a spiritual touch to the issue. Jeffery, Humphrey, and Fredrick whom this reporter chanced upon consuming chicken at some restaurants said that they are aware of the bird flu disease in Ghana but have trusted their lives in the hands of the almighty God and know He will protect them.

It will be recalled that the Veterinary Service Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on July 10th, placed a temporal ban on the sale and movement of live poultry when samples tested at the Nugochi Memorial for Research and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) proved the existence of avian influenza popularly known as bird flu in some birds in Ghana.


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