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Alco Hatcheries aims to meet demands of farmers

Alco Hatcheries aims to meet demands of farmers


The owner of a newly opened hatchery in St Vincent and the Grenadines hopes to meet the demands of poultry farmers in this country by the middle of this year.

Last Thursday, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture visited privately owned Alco Hatcheries in the Georgetown area,{{more}} a new establishment geared at providing poultry farmers with day-old chicks.

While speaking at the event, owner Clinton Ballantyne explained that his establishment currently offers two breeds of birds: the Asian Blue and Ranger Red broilers.

“With the assistance and guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture, we embarked on a programme to introduce various breeds of chicken and also to meet the demand of the local customer and consumer,” Ballantyne said.

“We should be able to meet all the demand of the local consumer by the middle of this year. With the help of the Ministry of Agriculture, we plan to capture the entire poultry industry.”

In his remarks, the hatchery owner revealed that the establishment hopes to expand their range by offering more breeds of chickens and turkeys. Ballantyne further highlighted plans to partner with his Iowa based suppliers to expand and introduce advanced technologies in expansion.

Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar commended the management and staff of Alco Hatcheries for their endeavour and noted that they are situated in a prime location, as most poultry farmers are based on the Windward side of the island.

The Minister also highlighted the importance of the public sector to partner with the private sector, in order to improve productivity throughout the nation.

“This is a sure sign here by Mr Clinton Ballantyne that he is expressing significant interest in the development of the agricultural sector. It is very important for us to create the requisite framework as a government, to ensure that we foster the much needed private sector/public sector partnership, if we are to take agriculture to the next level. Production and productivity are two very important watchwords in the Ministry of Agriculture and I just want to encourage the management and staff and owners here at Alco Hatchery to ensure that their standards are kept very high. I am going to assure that the veterinary division, that they work very closely rendering the requisite support needed, because we definitely have to ensure that all the health protocols are in place,” Caesar said.

Acting chief agricultural officier Ashley Cain also noted that the hatchery is an important addition to the agricultural sector, as poultry can play an integral role in food security and nation building.

He also expressed hope that the initiative encourages other persons seeking to enter into the agricultural sector and the opportunity to ask for the support of the public on endeavours such as these.

“We want to encourage, as much as possible, local people to support this hatchery enterprise, so that it can grow and deliver for us benefits in rural communities, income, new business in support of this kind of industry and a healthier population. It is my hope that through this initiative and others that we would encourage in the Ministry of Agriculture, that we would build a strong foundation on which we would have an excellent agricultural industry, not just in poultry, but in coconuts, bananas and other cropping enterprises. Take a lead from our investor here to look at agriculture as an option through which we can create wealth in a sustainable way and build our country and take it to the levels that we wish to have it,” Cain said.(BK)