November 09, 2016
Agriculture minister Karl Samuda
Lisa Hanna

Demand for chicken back and chicken neck is so high that the minister who has portfolio responsibility for agriculture said he is being literally bombarded with request to grant import licenses.

"It is undeniable that chicken neck and back is the cheapest protein available in the country. It is imported and used widely among the low-income grouping within out country," Karl Samuda said in parliament yesterday.

He said that since becoming minister in February, "I have not been confronted with more request for anything than I have been for the matter that she mentioned chicken neck and back".

Lisa Hanna, the Member of Parliament for South East St Ann, questioned why the Government continues embrace protectionist policies which in effect means higher prices for consumers. At present, persons importing chicken, chicken back and neck pay high taxes which pushes up the price of the product.

The import duty rate for importing Chicken back into Jamaica is 40 per cent.

"In terms of the protectionism, it sometimes put the price of chicken way out of the hands of ordinary Jamaicans," Hanna said.

She said that chicken back is one of the things that is imported heavily in the country and asked Samuda what ordinary Jamaicans could do to qualify for licences to import chicken back.

A sweet and sour chicken back vendor, Kimi Hussey who sells in Papine, St Andrew thinks that an opportunity to import the product for her business would boost her business.

"That woulda better cause every minute chicken back raise. Inna March a did $1,500 and now it reach $1,900 a case," Hussey said.

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