The Ghana Charismatic Bishops' Conference (GCBC) has said that instead of pursuing a one district one factory policy, the government should rather ban the importation of poultry and revive the struggling local poultry industry to create jobs.
In a six-page communique to make Ghana@60, the bishops asked, "How can you claim to emphasize on agriculture or to provide a factory for every district when existing factories and poultry farms that have been tried and tested before, cannot function because of government policies?"
They observe that Ghana has regressed under various agreements that have wiped out real commercial farming, and the country has become poorer with more unemployment and very little industrial activity.
"Well-known farms have been wiped out before our eyes and been made incapable of producing poultry for local consumption. It does not make sense to have poultry farms any longer because a locally grown chicken is sold for GHS 40, while the imported ones are sold for GHS15," the bishops said.
The bishops said there is no wisdom in allowing poultry in Ghana, with a less developed agricultural sector, to compete with poultry from China and Europe, adding that the country has run out of excuses to produce its own poultry so it is time to get out of the inimical agreements.
"Ban the importation of chicken. Come out of treaties and agreements that make us have to import unhealthy chicken and encourage local farmers to re-start poultry farming," they said in plain words.
The bishops alleged that chickens that are imported, are loaded with growth hormones causing many medical problems, such as making young girls now start having their menstrual periods from as young as 9 years.
They are therefore calling on the government to set up a commission to investigate the quality of chicken that is coming to the nation, and start banning imported chicken based on quality, just like European countries ban the importation of products from Ghana based on quality.
The bishops urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take a cue from US President Donald Trump who came out of some agreements on his first day in office because it is not in the interest of America.
"Notice how Britain comes out of agreements with the EU because some people feel that it is not in the interest of British business," they also noted.
They argue that the current status quo benefits only a few Ghanaians, but a ban on poultry importation and the revival of the local industry will possibly create some one million jobs and reduce armed robbery because many more of the youth will have work to do.