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South African Poultry Farmers Protest Imported Frozen Chicken

South African poultry farmers are up in arms over the importation of frozen chicken from Brazil and United States.

The farmers say they cannot compete with the exporters and want their government to impose higher tariffs.

Izaak Breitenbach, from South African Poultry Association, told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme that 13 local companies had declared bankruptcy in the last three years because of competition from frozen imports.

The imported chicken is being sold at $0.50 (£0.50) per kilogram in South Africa, against locally reared chicken that goes for about $1.50 – depending on the cut, he said.

“Countries that overproduce will sell the product that they don’t want in other markets, at prices lower than it is produced in other countries like South Africa,” he said.

“As we sit here, 73% of all per capita consumption has gone to imports, predominantly from Brazil and US… that has caused enormous amount of job losses.”

Mr Breitenbach wants South Africa to adopt the European Union’s policies on anti-dumping and controls on import volumes.

“We’ve done a study that covered the last 10 years. The earnings in the South African poultry industry was not enough to invest in the industry. That is not what you want for a country that has 23% of unemployment, we need to create jobs.”

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