Waterloo, SIERRA LEONE – A recent visit by Awoko to AMU, a local poultry farm in Waterloo, unveiled a significant challenge facing Sierra Leone’s poultry industry – a shortage of vaccines for chickens. Veterinary Doctor Yayah Kamara expressed frustration, highlighting the need for local access to essential vaccines and increased agricultural support.
Dr. Kamara explained that the current situation forces poultry operators to travel to Guinea, Ivory Coast, or Ghana to meet their livestock’s vaccine needs. He recounted a recent experience seeking a specific vaccine called ‘Gumboro’ at Clinetown, where he was informed of its unavailability. This scarcity hampers chicken health, as Sierra Leone’s access to vaccines relies on just two contacts, necessitating trips to neighbouring countries when vaccines are unavailable.
The veterinarian also addressed the issue of high taxation on imported items crucial for poultry operations, such as chicken feed. Dr. Kamara revealed that importing a container of concentrate for chickens incurs a cost of Le650,000, excluding taxes. This taxation burden impedes local production, leading to an influx of imported eggs in the market.
Dr. Kamara appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture for essential support, emphasizing that facilitating increased local egg production not only boosts the economy but also provides vital assistance to farmers. He further highlighted the potential for repurposing chicken waste to support crop growth, creating a sustainable agricultural cycle. PSN/9/1/2024