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Plans in place for the establishment of a poultry production plant

Plans in place for the establishment of a  poultry production plant

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Over EC$20 million is expected to be retained in the local economy annually with the establishment of a poulty production and processing plant here.{{more}}

Details of the upcoming project were made public by Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, who excitedly disclosed that the venture is being made possible through a joint initiative between the East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

During a visit on Monday to the proposed site of the poultry farms in the Montreal mountains, Caesar explained that if successful, the project will retain EC$22 million in the Vincentian economy by reducing the importation bill for poultry products.

Dressed in shirts and ties, a team of officials from the ECGC, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Housing etc journeyed along with members of the media to the proposed site.

The travelling delegation included officials from various government departments, including Ellison Clarke, Economist from the Division of Industry, Dr. Kathian Hackshaw, Chief Veterinary Officer, and an ECGC contingent led by Marketing Manager Martin Laborde.

The project will comprise two main components: the establishment of a number of small farms on which farmers, on contractual arrangement, will rear the birds to maturity, after which they will be processed at the plant whose proposed site is at the Diamond Industrial Estate.

According to Caesar, “presently we are importing approximately EC$22 million of poultry and poultry products.

“Once as a government we can work to reduce this significant amount of imports, and it is definitely going to bring positive and significant impact to St. Vincent and the Grenadines…,” Caesar explained.

In addition to the huge economic benefits, Caesar also noted that there are other important benefits to be derived from the poultry project.

“Issues of food security will also be addressed, and issues of our balance of payment will definitely be impacted in a positive way,” he added.

The Minister stated that he is aware that other Caribbean countries are making efforts to develop their poultry production and “St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not be left behind.”

“We are going to work hard to protect our poultry farmers and to ensure that this project is a success and that you receive quality chickens and the poultry products that we eat in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we can very soon say that it was grown here by us for us.”

The project is expected to be in full operation within a two-year period, the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Martin Laborde said ECGC has a very rich and rewarding history in terms of development and investment in SVG, and this new venture is another signal moment in which the company expresses its interest in national development.

He explained that the planning process for the project was done over three years and the allocation of the proposed site for the poultry farm speaks to the fact that they had already identified the lands for the development.

He noted that the ECGC is a very serious company in relation to its investments and is confident that by working with all the various stakeholders involved, the project will be a success for all.

“It has nothing to do only with the impact on our company. It is the impact on national development and what we will be able to do…

“This is not a fifty-fifty relationship. It’s a hundred-hundred relationship. The government is supporting 100 per cent and we are willing to invest 100 per cent,” Laborde stated.

The cost and commencement of the project was not disclosed, but according to Laborde, upon completion of all the necessary planning preparation, a press conference will be held in the near future to make those announcements.

Monday’s visit also saw the team visiting the National Poultry Hatchery located at Dumbarton which, according to the Minister, is expected to supply the chicks for the farms.(AA)

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