Wednesday 21 October, 2020

Chicken supply to normalise by October

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green

Jamaicans should begin to see an improvement in the availability of chicken parts by next month following recent moves by poultry producers to increase production.

Both Jamaica Broilers Group and Caribbean Broilers, on Thursday, gave assurances to Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green for an increase in supply of the meat kin.

A decision was recently made to increase production of baby chicks of an average 15 per cent and the reopening of a hatchery to accommodate a vast increase in the order of eggs.

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

The measures put in place are expected to remedy supply concerns from consumers over the past month.

“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.

Sales of both Jamaica Broilers and Caribbean Broilers slowed to roughly 40 per cent of normal levels in May, following the closure of the hotel sector and a fallout in orders from fast-food operators in accordance with COVID-19 gathering restrictions and tightening of curfew hours.

The reduction in sales forced to poultry producers to slow down the numbers of birds produced in an effort to minimize losses while containing costs.

But with reopening of the hotel sector and a relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions in June, sales gradually picked up for the companies and depleted their inventory faster than anticipated.

The poultry producers have indicated to the Minister 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.

Green said the agriculture sector has been faced with a number of challenges across both production and consumption levels, but the on-going dialogue and collaborative actions are essential in monitoring the demand and supply situation and informing effective decisions.

The agriculture minister and his team will continue to monitor the situation, update the public on all developments and take the necessary steps to guarantee Jamaica’s food security.

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