Government to purchase over 200,000 eggs from local poultry farmers
The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has committed to purchasing over 200,000 eggs from local poultry farmers in an effort to assist with the current glut of the product on the market.
On Monday, minister of agriculture Saboto Caesar launched a campaign for Vincentians to start including more eggs in their diet as a key source of protein.
He said that this was a short term intervention that will not only help citizens be healthier, but also help deal with the glut while his ministry implements its strategy to find an export market for the eggs.
One day later, Caesar called a press conference to announce the commitment of finance minister, Camillo Gonsalves to purchase 210,000 eggs, which would be donated to several institutions around the country.
“As a government, we have budgeted to purchase 210,000 eggs at the price of $15 per flat. I am aware that some persons are selling already at less than $15 per flat. But I want to note that this is a one-off intervention by the government to do this purchase. It’s not something that we’re going to continue,” the agriculture minister said.
There are 30 eggs in one flat.
After this purchase, over 100,000 eggs will remain in storage. But Caesar said that his ministry will be monitoring the situation to see how the market settles down.
He said that the policy is that the government will not distribute to households as it would be unfair to supermarkets who have already purchased eggs to sell to consumers.
Instead, the eggs brought by the government will be distributed to charitable institutions including the Saint Benedict’s Day Nursery and Home for Children, Guadeloupe Home for Girls, the Salvation Army, the country’s 68 primary schools, 125 preschools, hospitals, and technical institutions.
Caesar said he was happy to see the number of farmers present at the press conference and he encouraged younger farmers to become a part of the local Poultry Association.
“What is taking place in this country is that we are having, unfolding as we speak, the construction of several hotels…The reason I am mentioning this is that the more hotel rooms you have, we all know that eggs play a very important role on the breakfast menus. therefore, your work and your contribution ties in directly into the national development of the country,” he said.
The agriculture minister said that the government does not want the glut to drive egg prices so low that farmers are driven out of production “because if you go out of production and demand comes, you have to go and import eggs”.