Poultry Production Still Viable

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Minister of Agriculture, Senator Haynesley Benn????

Despite the current economic crisis, poultry production in Barbados has continued on an increasing trajectory with an estimated 14.6 million kilogrammes recorded last year in production.

This disclosure was made recently by Minister of Agriculture, Senator Haynesley Benn, who said that since 1993 up to the present, poultry exports have seen steady increases.

Speaking at Chickmont Foods Ltd???s Awards Ceremony for Longstanding Employees last weekend, Minister Benn said: ?????Trade data revealed 113 kilogrammes of poultry meat were exported during 1993, however, during 2008, 212.8 thousand kilogrammes of poultry meat were exported.???

He further stated that ???the exports in 2008 were valued at BDS$1.7million and represented an increase by 79 percent over the 2007 period.???

However, Mr. Benn noted that the industry had not been without its challenges since there had been a number of factors that impacted negatively on the viability of the sector in this country.

???The rising cost of feed has not escaped our gaze and rather than ask local poultry producers to continually absorb the increases in price, the government paid a price support to Pinnacle Feeds Ltd. in the early stages to help offset the increase,??? he said.

Explaining that in an effort to achieve a more long term solution, the Minister gave the assurance that government would continue to collaborate with the Caribbean Poultry Association to examine CARICOM sources for supplying the feed ingredients.

???We propose to establish a Poultry Board to regulate the industry as well as develop a framework for a Poultry Insurance Scheme.?? We also plan to expand our poultry products by including smoked chicken and turkey in order to facilitate the expansion of poultry production in Barbados,??? Mr. Benn stated.

tblackman@barbados.gov.bb

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