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Chicken imports ‘not the problem’


ALBERT BRANDFORD

Chicken imports ‘not the problem’

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?CONTRARY TO FARMERS’ claims, chicken imports by the state-owned Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) have had “little impact” on the local poultry industry.
?That’s according to the findings of a BADMC-commissioned study, released yesterday, which was conducted by two researchers from the University of the West Indies (UWI).
It was a response to the recent controversy over the importation of two containers of chicken wings without consultation with farmers who charged that such imports would damage the sector.
The researchers, Dr Winston Moore, senior lecturer in the Department of Economics and Dr Justin Robinson, senior lecturer in management and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, found that while the BADMC has the authority through an agreed quota to import 16.8 million kilograms of poultry annually, it has elected to use only about half of that amount.
“One will see that the entire poultry industry averages about $150 million in sales annually,” the report noted.
“In 2013, the BADMC imported poultry products worth an estimated $5.5 million, or about 4 per cent of total industry sales.
“The proportion of total industry sales accounted for by BADMC imports are therefore relatively small and have remained below the quota of 1.68 million kilograms per year.”
According to the report, given the small size of the poultry imports, it is therefore not surprising that the analysis suggests that there was little or no relationship between BADMC’s imports and poultry production.

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