Sunday 7 June, 2020

Grenada celebrates increase in poultry production

[iStock.com/monticelllo]

[iStock.com/monticelllo]

There has been a marked increase in Grenada’s poultry production, which experts believe can be attributed to the implementation of the 2017 Poultry Policy.

Chief Veterinary and Livestock Officer, Dr Kimond Cummings said the policy helped to boost local investor confidence.

“Because of the creation of such a document, would have pulled so much investment, because farmers and investors would have realised that government is no longer just talking anymore, but they are serious” he said.

For several years, local poultry farmers occupied 10% of the local meat market. This increased to 12% in 2018 and to 14.5% in 2019.

Dr Cummings said despite the increase, Grenada is far from meetings its domestic demand for poultry. Data from the Central Statistical Office says the islands import bill for various poultry meats was $30, 667,347 in 2018.

He said measures similar to those implemented in Jamaica and Barbados are being considered. Both islands introduced the Tariff-Rate Quota which ensures that everything below quota comes in at 5% duty. Anything above the quota comes in between 184% to 286%. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Common External Tariff is 40% with a 15% surcharge.

Dr Cummings said President of the Caribbean Poultry Association, David Reimer will visit Grenada in January, to help establish a reasonable external tariff and bound rate for the importation of poultry.

It is believed that an incremental increase would give farmers the confidence to continue and even accelerate their efforts.

Dr Cummings said the proposed tariff-rate increase must first be presented at the next meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in 2020.

Despite its apparent success, some believe the National Poultry Policy may have created an imbalance in other subsectors of Grenada’s livestock industry.

Livestock officer within the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Nugent Bernard, believes that all subsectors within the livestock industry should be governed under one policy instead of having separate policies like the case of the poultry policy.

He said the implementation of such a policy will eventually lead to a comprehensive survey to determine national meat consumption to assist in identifying the scale at which local livestock production must be increased.

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