Malawi’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Sam Ganda says traders importing poultry products in the country must be investigated and taken to task because the tendency has the capability of chocking local producers.
The minister’s comments come at a time when the Poultry Industry Association of Malawi (PIAM) is asking government to intervene and stop any importation of poultry products, arguing that the system has the potential to put local producers out of business.
The statement from PIAM also hinted that Malawi has the capability of producing enough products for consumption and for export as well.
Reads part of the statement: “We have noted with concern that some unscrupulous traders are importing poultry products into the country and this can put out of business a lot of Malawians. We are, therefore asking government to intervene in this matter.”
But in an interview on Tuesday, Ganda said PIAM is raising a very pertinent issue worth investigating because it has been there before.
“One of the problems we have is that our borders are porous and those importing the products use these routes. It is very important that we also tighten our borders in order to frustrate these people,” said Ganda.
A local chicken producer, Steven Mwandama, who is based in Lilongwe said the cheap imports would choke and undercut the local market and put many small scale chicken traders out of business.
He said small-scale farmers would suffer the most, as they cannot compete with the less expensive poultry products from abroad, which he said were usually bought on the parallel market.
According to Ganda the government imposed ban on poultry products still stands because the country was flooded with poultry products from neighbouring countries.
“The laws are there and once one is found importing the poultry products definitely the law must take its course,” said Ganda.