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Egg producers, importers meet on shortage in SVG

Egg producers, importers meet on shortage in SVG

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Close to 40 producers and importers of eggs met on Thursday, November 18, to find a solution for the current egg shortage affecting the local market.{{more}}

The producers and importers primarily met with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture to discuss alternative marketing arrangements for the rest of the year.

The meeting was attended by Chief Agricltural Officer (CAO)Reuben Robertson, who led the discussions to establish the reasons for the current scarcity of eggs, which have driven the price to almost double the cost per unit supply.

The discussions led to the identification of a number of causes, which were summarized as a late start-up for the season by the farmers, due to a late supply of chicks; an unestablished dietary problem with the birds, leading to low production of eggs and death in some cases (this is currently being investigated); and an apparent reduction in the level of management systems recommended for the birds.

In addition, the effects of the passage of Hurricane Tomas were also indentified as factors that impacted on production.

A number of decisions were made to alleviate the situation. Robertson explained that the aim was “to find a solution that benefits the consumers, the importers and importantly, the farmers.”

The decision was taken to completely liberalize the market to allow for the importation of chilled table eggs by the importers.

It was also decided that there will be an immediate processing and granting of import licences to ensure early importation of eggs in sufficient quantities, which will be available at affordable prices, for the rest of the year.

The issuing of licences will cease at the end of the year to accommodate local production, which by then should have been regulated.