16 June 2013

Gambia: Chicken Legs Importation Ban

Photo: Lonely Planet
The Gambia

Following the recent announcement of the ban on the importation of chicken legs as contained in a press release issued by the office of the President on 6 June, Foroyaa assigned this reporter to interview the concerned parties on the reasons for this executive directive and its impact on traders and consumers. The first place to visit was the Serekunda market to talk to the vendors who sell chicken legs to see how this latest ban will affect them. According to Fatou Faal, chicken legs seller, the ban on the chicken legs will affect them a lot, because they make a living by selling them. "I used to sell this to earn something for my family. I have been doing this for a long time. Our fish money comes from here.

Our house rent comes from it. My Children's lunch and their school fees come from here," said Fatou. Fatou Faal added that she used to buy the carton for D660 and sell it at D680, "so that I can be able to earn something to survive." She lamented the hard times ahead for them if chicken legs are banned.

Oumie Njie also a chicken legs seller, said the people are interested in buying chicken legs and questioned what the poor would do since they cannot buy beef or goat meat. "As you can see the price of everything is increasing; meat, fish and local chicken are very expensive; so if you are poor how are you going to afford that? That's why these chicken legs are important in this country, you can see Ramadan is coming soon and people used to buy chicken legs to break their fast," said Oumie Njie. She appealed to the government not to ban the importation of chicken legs, because local chicken cannot satisfy the market demand in the country.

She added that when some have ceremonies they buy these chicken legs. Amie Badjie, a buyer said the government should understand the situation of the poor people and not ban these chicken legs in the country. "I'm poor that's why I buy chicken legs." Legs are bought for naming ceremonies.

Many women are no longer selling them because there is little profit in the trade and some are afraid because of the announcement. At Kairaba supermarket the staff said it is the head of the business organization in Banjul who can talk to me. Furthermore this reporter visited TAJCO center in Banjul. When Mr Muhammed, who directed affairs at the centre was asked why the Chicken legs were banned, he said that he does not know; that as far as he knows the chicken legs that TAJCO are importing are fit for human consumption.

"We import good chicken legs to the Gambia, and before importing our chicken legs, we must take them for inspection. I have all my registered papers with me.

We import good stuff for the Gambian people, because we are all human beings. I still have many chicken legs in my store. People are interested in it but if it is finished, we will not import again, because as they said it has been banned in the country, but we don't know what happened," said Muhammed.

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