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Cablegate: Ivorian Poultry Industry Cries Fowl As Government

VZCZCXRO6521
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #1263 3171619
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131619Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2156
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 0127
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 001263

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EIND ELAB EAGR IV
SUBJECT: IVORIAN POULTRY INDUSTRY CRIES FOWL AS GOVERNMENT
TO REDUCE POULTRY IMPORT TARIFFS BY 50%

1. On November 2, 2006, the Ministry of Animal Husbandry
and Fisheries announced a plan to slash the tariff on poultry
imports by 50% (from 22.5% to 11.5%). The announcement
followed the October 31 Council of Ministers, which
recommended taking &all necessary measures to supply the
poultry market in order to avoid any shortage as the year-end
festivities draw near.8 As expected, the association of
local poultry producers known as &Inter-profession Avicole
Ivoirienne8 (IPRAVI) condemned the proposed tariff cut.

2. On November 3, IPRAVI expressed concern that the plan to
reduce tariffs on import poultry results from an unjustified
lack of confidence by the part of the government in the
quality and volume of local poultry production. Moreover,
IPRAVI claims that they do not understand why the Ministry is
cutting the import tax when they could instead reduce the
duties paid on various inputs by local poultry operators,
thus cutting local production costs and aiding in recovery of
the Ivorian poultry sector. The IPRAVI has asked the
government to cancel the tariff cut, threatening that they
&will find other means to defend their interests.8

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3. The poultry sector in Cote d' Ivoire is responsible for
approximately 15,000 jobs (direct and indirect). It
generates total sales of roughly USD 80 million (CFAF 40
billion) per year, accounting for 0.5% of GDP. This figure
is expected to decline by 30% this year due to the losses
caused by the outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI). In April
2006, following the outbreak of AI, the government ordered
the slaughter of live animals, the closure of poultry markets
and a ban on poultry imports. In August 2006 the Ministry of
Animal Husbandry and Fisheries declared that AI had been
successfully contained and the government authorized the
lifting of the import ban and the opening of poultry markets.


4. Comment: The tariff cuts will fruther undermine local
poultry producers, already hard hit by the outbreak of AI.
However, the move will be welcomed by Ivorian consumers.
While poultry prices have increased since AI was reported in
the country last April, according to industry sources
consumption now appears to be at the same rate as pre-AI.
End comment.
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