Isles' Govt Urged to Ban Chicken Import

TANZANIA - In a bid to protect market for local farmers, Zanzibar House of Representatives members are pressing the authorities to ban importation of chicken.
calendar icon 30 July 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

"There is no justification to import chicken from Brazil. We need immediate ban on chicken from abroad," said backbenchers led by Mr Hamza Hassan Juma (CCM- Kwamtipura).

According to AllAfrica, the lawmakers said that majority Zanzibaris do not want chicken from Brazil dubbed 'Pedu', and also alleging, people are putting their health at risk by consuming the chicken.

Debating the Budget estimates for the ministry of the Livestock and fishing for the 2013/2014, the legislators want local livestock keepers supported to produce enough for the market, instead of allowing chicken import.

Three ministers: Mr Abdullahi Jihadi Hassan (Fishing), Ms Nassor Mazrui (Trade), and Mr Mohamed Aboud (State Minister- Vice President's office) lined-up in the House to defend 'Pedu' chicken. "Chicken from Brazil is safe and meets the required quality compared to those produced in Zanzibar.

Despite heavy tax on Chicken from Brazil, it is still cheaper than the local chicken," said Ms Mazrui. She also cautioned House members against their call for restricting chicken from abroad, saying "it will be a breach of World Trade Organization (WTO) international trade agreements."

Zanzibar local farmers produce about 150 tons relatively substandard chicken per month, while the demand is more than 700 tons. The current importation from Brazil is only 51 tons.

The Livestock Minister, and the Minister of State battled to convince the Hose members to let the budget estimates sail through, promising to work together with other stakeholders to decide on the Brazilian chicken in the near future.

But the lawmakers continued to resist prompting the House chairperson Ms Mgeni Hassan Juma, who was presiding over the session, to postpone the approval of the budget to next Monday as she appealed to the government to present convincing reasons for the chicken import.

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