Chicken supply will improve in coming weeks — Agriculture Minister

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Chicken supply will improve in coming weeks — Agriculture Minister

Thursday, September 17, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, has made his first move in a series of steps to address the concerns raised across the island about the state of the supply of baby chicks and chicken meat.

The minister convened an urgent meeting on Thursday, September 17, with the country's two major poultry producers, Jamaica Broilers Group and Caribbean Broilers, along with the ministry's technical team.

The ministry said poultry producers indicated that despite the economy not being at full capacity, they have seen a significant uptake in the demand for both baby chicks and chicken meat over the last two months.

The ministry gave assurance that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, pragmatic measures are in place, and continue to be put in place, to remedy these supply concerns.

The ministry said the assurance was corroborated by the poultry stakeholders in the meeting who have vastly increased their orders of eggs and have also recently put a new hatchery into operation to meet the high demand for baby chicks.

So far, both companies have increased their production of baby chicks by an average of 15 per cent, the ministry said. It noted that the impact of this increased production will be reflected in the market by early to mid-October.

In addition, the ministry said based on the producers' projections, supply will undoubtedly meet the demand for chicken production by the second week of October.

The minister explained that the agriculture sector has been faced with a number of challenges across both production and consumption levels, but the ongoing dialogue and collaborative actions are essential in monitoring the demand and supply situation and informing effective decisions.

“Based on the reports given by the producers today, we have confidently recognised that by November, Jamaica will be at record production levels for chicken and as such, we do not expect any shortage or lack of supply for the Christmas period,” Green stated.

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