Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has challenged the Grenada Poultry Association (GPA) to expand its production of chicken products.
The Prime Minister issued the challenge during a meeting last week with the GPA, farmers representative in the senate, Sen. Keith Clouden, and representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Trade and Legal Affairs, represented by Attorney General Rohan Phillip.
“The Poultry industry has tremendous potential for our country with the high consumption of chicken and chicken parts as part of our daily diet. We will give the necessary support to enhancing the poultry sub-sector as part of the development of the agribusiness sector,” the Prime Minister told the meeting.
The Grenadian leader said that the ever-increasing cost of food, especially meat, on the international market makes investment in the sector important to Grenada’s food security and the reduction of the island’s food import bill.
The hour-long meeting discussed a range of issues affecting the growth and expansion of the poultry sector, including the cost and quality of feed and the dumping of “poor quality” chicken products from more developed countries into the Caribbean, a matter the Ministry of Trade was asked to investigate.
GPA officials also called for government’s intervention to resolve some of the “burning issues” affecting the industry, which has seen a decrease in the number of farmers and a resulting decline in chicken production.
On the recommendation of Attorney General Phillip, the meeting agreed to the setting up of a team comprising the GPA and various government agencies, to engage the island’s lone producer of chicken feed, Caribbean Agro Industries Limited, to discuss the areas of concern.
According to the GPA, Grenada imported over 13 million pounds of chicken valued at EC$20 Million in 2011 alone, which accounted for 90% of the chicken consumed in Grenada.
The association believes that domestic production accounts for just 10% of local demand.