Study: BADMC imports at 4% of poultry market
The Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) recently released the findings of a Study On The Impact Of BADMC Poultry Imports On The Local Poultry Industry. This research was led by Barbadian company Antilles Economics and Dr Justin Robinson, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. The study concluded that the poultry industry is one of the largest segments of non-sugar agriculture in Barbados. The BADMC is charged with developing the agricultural industry by providing technological applications and relevant technical and marketing research, and to create investment opportunities within the sector.
This study considered two main questions: 1. Is there a correlation between BADMC’s imports of poultry and local production/sales?
2. Are there any other factors that predict local production and sales, besides imports of poultry products?
The analysis suggests that the annual poultry industry (excluding eggs and turkey) is worth around $150 million in sales, with the BADMC importing an estimated $5.5 million, or about four per cent of total industry sales.
The proportion of total industry sales accounted for by BADMC imports are therefore relatively small and have always remained below the quota of 1.68 million kilograms per year.
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 imports and poultry production.
The study also attempted to identify other potential determinants of poultry production and consumption. The analysis suggests that a determinant was the production of other meats, that is, chicken production tends to be associated with the production of meats such as pork, lamb, beef and the like.
The analysis also demonstrates that there was a strong negative link between production and prices (wholesale or retail), which might be indicative of rising prices leading to reduced consumption and therefore production on the part of farmers.
The data obtained from the BADMC covered the period 2003 to 2013. This therefore precluded the use of more sophisticated modelling techniques to investigate the first research question.
As a result, the study depended on basic correlation analysis and associated charts and tables.
It is therefore recommended that a more comprehensive study be undertaken which can examine institutional structures (this would allow the researchers to investigate the potential reasons for the relatively inflexibility of supply in response to price changes) in the industry and utilise more sophisticated modelling techniques.