The Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Luther Buchanan, is reporting that the pork industry is on a steady growth path.
He said a supply management regime that the Government implemented in 2012, to address a glut on the market, has ensured that the investments of farmers are not threatened.
The regime, he noted has prevented the “easy import” of prime cuts such as baby back ribs, spare ribs, pork loin, pork shoulders and pork chops.
The State Minister was delivering the main address at the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Pig Farmers Association (JPFA), held yesterday (September 24), at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.
In 2011, importation of pork to the island reached 3,163,894 kilograms, and with the implementation of regime, the import figures dropped significantly, to reach
1,947,490 kilograms in 2014. This represents a reduction of 38.4 per cent over the 2011 figures.
“Critically, there was a constant year over year reduction over the period, bringing increased market opportunities for farmers,” Mr. Buchanan said.
He informed further that since 2012, there has been no importation of finished ham or pig parts for the production of hams and picnic hams.
“This achievement should not be taken lightly given the significant emphasis that we place on the consumption of hams during the Christmas period,” he pointed out.
Mr. Buchanan urged farmers to remain focussed on expanding and increasing production, to fully and consistently meet local and export demand.
“There are opportunities for growth and expansion in the pig industry in Jamaica,” he noted.
President of the JPFA, Hanif Brown, said with the pork market now steady, and farmers are making a profit, they need to use the opportunity to retool their operations so that the industry can be sustainable.