Poultry farmers benefitting from $50m subsidiary programme

February 07, 2022
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, (right), converses with Middlesex Broilers Farmers Association President, Richard Bennett, during that body’s annual general meeting at Dinthill Technical High School in St. Catherine, on Saturday (February 5). (Contributed photo)

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr., says poultry farmers have commenced benefitting from the ministry’s $50 million subsidiary programme, aimed at minimising production costs.

Charles said while the Ministry is committed to facilitating the poultry industry’s expansion, if the price of chicken meat becomes “astronomical” then “we have to protect Jamaicans”.

He was addressing the Middlesex Broilers Farmers Association’s annual general meeting at Dinthill Technical High School in St. Catherine, on Saturday (February 5).

The Minister maintained that while there are policy mechanisms to protect small farmers, his primary mission is to boost production for domestic consumption, and exports to CARICOM and other international markets.

He emphasised that “we want you [poultry farmers] to continue to expand your business”, while underscoring the need for dialogue to identify “practical solutions that benefit our farmers and consumers.”

Mr Charles said the Ministry’s Research and Development Division has been mandated to collaborate with stakeholders and work towards making the cost of chicken feed more affordable by utilising local production inputs.

He indicated that the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) has been pivotal in training and providing farmers with resources to boost outputs, while pointing out that this support will continue to ensure Jamaica does not rely solely on chicken imports to meet domestic consumption demand.

Charles further advised that he met with the two major local poultry producers, who indicated their endorsement of the ministry’s initiative to support farmers by instituting systems to fill any potential temporary shortage that may arising and spur the sector’s expansion.

“The companies also expressed their continued commitment to the poultry sector through a multibillion-dollar investment in the expansion of their hatcheries aimed at strengthening our local capacity to meet demand,” the Minister said, while pointing out that local producers have been fulfilling approximately 60 per cent of local demand.

-JIS NEWS-

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