SVG can export EC$8 million worth of eggs annually – Caesar
The possibility exists that this country can export up to EC$8 million worth of eggs annually.
This, according to Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Saboto Caesar, who told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that the government is monitoring the reduction in the supply of eggs and the increase in price of the commodity in the United States (US).
He said several CARICOM countries import eggs from the US and with what is happening in there, St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) could possibly fill the void in CARICOM.
However, despite a glut in the local egg market that started in January and drove down egg prices, the minister said we must now monitor our supply as with two countries asking SVG for eggs, exports could create a shortage here.
He said our CARICOM neighbours are asking for a large quantity of eggs, but the industry must be developed, and we must look at our own food security first.
Caesar added that SVG is close to exporting some of our eggs as we have a significant order, but the phytosanitary matter is “sensitive”.
There are approximately 65 medium to large egg farmers in the country and according to Caesar, while we have a significant quantity of eggs stored by each farmer, an initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries called “Love Box” will take up quite a bit of the supply.
“The order can move out all of the eggs and the prices can go right up to $20 and $25 and it is one of the situations where the market is there, but we have to be cautious,” Caesar said.
He said egg production levels are still high and after sufficient eggs are taken up in the Love Box initiative, he will be observing where the price goes.
The agriculture minister said he is hoping that the price stays around EC$15 a flat (30 eggs) as EC$10 is not enough to allow an egg producer to recover costs.
He said there will be a need for a good supply of eggs post Covid-19 as hotel development is taking off.
Caesar is also encouraging persons to look into producing liquid and powdered eggs, options that increase the shelf life of the product.
“The egg industry is one that is showing bright prospects,” he stated.