JIS News

President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant has said that the emerging Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) represents an excellent opportunity for players in the local poultry industry to come together and expand production, so as to make their presence felt on a regional scale.
Speaking recently at the launching of a joint JAS/Alcoa Foundation project for poultry farmers at Denbigh in Clarendon, Senator Grant noted that the use of modern technology could be the “perfect catalyst” for such a move.
“Currently, as a region we are not having enough trade as CARICOM partners to capitalize on this huge market, because within our own bloc, we are still struggling to get to double digits in terms of trade and what I am saying is that these are some of the things on which we can maximize,” he said.
Senator Grant explained that the Caribbean region produced some 205 million metric tonnes of broiler meat annually as well as some 45 million dozen eggs at a value of some US$468 million. “Clarendon farmers can pioneer the development of quality poultry meat through the project we are launching today, in order to secure markets within Jamaica Broilers, Caribbean Broilers and others within the region. It is one of the industries that can create significant value for our small farmers,” he said.
The President pointed out that he was quite happy with the new partnership that had been formed with the Alcoa Foundation. “Jamalco happens to be the main facilitator of the activity and today we have been provided with grant funds of some US$17,500, which will assist with the implementation of a sustainable framework for the certification of agricultural produce,” he said.
Senator Grant outlined some of the main components of the new programme.
“We will be raising the awareness of the importance of product certification as well as train over 100 farmers within the parish, so as to establish a system of production that conforms to acceptable safety, quality and environmental standards,” he said. Senator Grant said that additionally, some 250 small poultry farmers would be trained in good management practices. “At the same time, we will be compiling and publishing a procedure manual that will guide the process as well as construct a model poultry unit here on our home ground,” he said.