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New Trade Restrictions Ruffle Cameroonian Farmers

Cameroon’s poultry farmers and sellers are calling on authorities at home and in Europe to loosen trade restrictions put in place over the coronavirus pandemic and avian influenza, which have more than doubled the price of chicken. Scores of chicken sellers in Cameroon’s capital held a one-hour sit-in Monday at the Mvog-Ada chicken market to protest the continued restrictions, which have pushed all but about 25 sellers — out of 300 last year — out of business. Cameroon’s chicken sellers are pleading with authorities on both sides to drop the trade restrictions, as they are creating a scarcity of chicken and driving up prices in the region. Since January 2021, the retail cost of 1.5 kilograms of chicken has jumped from $5 to $12 in Cameroon, and up to $15 in neighboring Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, which import from Cameroon. The poultry farmers group says the situation has forced more than a third of Central Africa’s 45,000 large- and small-scale chicken farmers and sellers out of business. The group says regional production cannot keep up with demand. Central African states provide less than 20 million of the 150 million chickens needed in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, according to the group.