The government is hoping to soon establish an abattoir for local chicken processing in an effort to improve supply and ultimately achieve self-sufficiency for the country.
According to cabinet notes on Thursday, the Ministry of Agriculture has already determined that the abattoir will help meet domestic demand for meat from broilers.
“What they’re intending to do is to purchase the chickens from many, many local farmers and this processing facility will purchase the chickens, once they meet the standards, to enable the abattoir to supply the local market with chickens,” Minister Dean Jonas explained.
“This we believe will allow us to hold the prices steady,” said Jonas. “Maybe there might be a very slight increase in the prices but what we’re going to get is a locally grown product that is far healthier and better for the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
“What we discovered some time ago is that the chickens we import from overseas, we cannot guarantee the quality and so this will enable the government to provide guarantees on the quality of meat consumption in Antigua and Barbuda,” he added.
Meanwhile, poultry farmers are expected to receive concession in order to participate in this industry move. Minister Jonas suggested that the government may reduce production costs – like the cost of feed – to help farmers meet the demands.