The decision authorising the importation of Brazilian poultry products and by-products was timely as the increasing cost of table birds in markets is a worry to many Cameroonians.
Four months after Cameroon decided to temporarily ban the importation of day-old chicks and broilers into the national territory, the decision was revised last March 22, 2021. In a letter addressed to the Brazillian Ambassador to Cameroon, Dr. Taiga, Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry wrote, “I am honored to authorize the importation of Brazilian poultry products and by-products [into Cameroon], in strict compliance with the sanitary and zoosanitary requirements of Cameroon, Brazil and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE),”. The aforementioned ban had been to guard against avian flu that appeared in some European and Asian countries in late 2020. Supported by the poultry industry, which is yet to forget the last avian flu outbreaks in Cameroon, the import ban led to an increase in the price of table birds in local markets.
Contrary to some misinformation circulating on social media, government has not authorised the importation of frozen chicken but rather by-products that will permit farmers produce more to satisfy demand. The authorisation that was granted in strict compliance with the sanitary and zoo sanitary requirements of Cameroon, Brazil and the World Organization for Animal Health according to Dr. Taiga is aimed at developing the Cameroonian poultry sector and diversifying the country’s input suppliers. The zoosanitary requirements include a technical notice for importation issued by the ministry in charge of veterinary services, an animal health certificate issued in the origin country of the poultry products, or genetic material. Also, Cameroonian veterinary services must be informed at least 24 hours before the arrival of the poultry products or by-products. Poultry farmers have since geared up to acquire their supplies by joining forces to make bulk purchases and ultimately reduce transport costs. In an interview granted Francois Djonou, president of the Cameroon Poultry Interprofession (IPAVIC) by Cameroon Tribune, he mentioned that the group was discussing with other actors to charter flights that can carry enough broilers. This he said would reduce import costs because from Brazil to Cameroon, the transport cost is higher and would exceed the current purchasing price.
While waiting for farmers to replenish their stock and produce affordable table birds, consumers are compelled to resort to fish, beef and pork.