Project could slash chicken imports by $23 million – Minister

Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – A project will be implemented here within the next six months that hopes to make this country self-sufficient in poultry products and keep EC$23 million in the local economy annually.

Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar said on radio on Tuesday that the National Poultry Project is part of a thrust to get Vincentians to consume more of what they produce.

“… There are so many things happening in the Ministry of Agriculture. It is exciting times in the Ministry of Agriculture and I really want Vincentians, everyone, every citizen to really join in the discussion because we all have a critical role to play if this industry is going to grow …” said Caesar, who was transferred from the Ministry of Tourism to the Ministry of Agriculture as part of a Cabinet reshuffle three weeks ago.

“I really want to see in the next three years we consume more of what we grow,” Caesar said, adding that “buy local … is almost a rhetoric that is burdensome on the ear.

“But if we do not secure our farmers by purchasing a lot of what they grow locally, then basically, it is really going to cut back on some of the significant profits we can make in the agricultural sector,” he further stated.

He spoke of a project in his South Windward constituency, where 300 chickens were distributed to six farmers, producing 1,500lbs of chicken in six weeks. The project earned each farmer EC$400 after the cost of feed and a new batch of chicken were deducted.

Caesar said that a few years ago, this country was self-sufficient in pork but because of the “roast pork revolution” local farmers are now unable to meet local demands, driving up the price of the meat.

Caesar was slated to meet on Tuesday with a consultant from Sainsbury, the third largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, to examine the possibility of this country exporting non-banana products to the United Kingdom.

“Banana is essential. You also have the poultry project and you also have the market for the value added at Vincyfresh,” he said.

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27 thoughts on “Project could slash chicken imports by $23 million – Minister

  1. I hope you have already discovered that the foreign group who recently had Gonsalves and the Ministry of Ag., running about to satisfy their demands are flakes.

    I hope this isn’t part of the same deal, because if it is, all that you quote is crap.

    It doesn’t surprise me that having destroyed Bigger Biggs block making industry with the loss of numerous jobs, then to put the block [pun] on Biggs involvement with the cocoa people, what next.

    Well Bigger Biggs is an amazing entrepreneur, he has bounced back with his chicken farming project, slaughtering up to 300 birds a day. So it comes as no surprise to me that the ULP government once again want to destroy Biggs by introducing overwhelming chicken industry, in the hope that Biggs will be finally eliminated.

    This Unity Liars Party is and evil bunch of Marxist scum.


    Posted by Peter | March 15, 2012, 09:29
  2. PETER, you’re TRULY a LOON.

    What does any of what is WRITTEN has to do with TRYING to ELIMINATE BIGGER BIGS?

    I have a FEELING that you’re SMELLING too much of that SULFUR of yours.

    Posted by VINCY POWA (@VINCYPOWA) | March 15, 2012, 10:57
  3. I am pleased that there appears to be a shift to supporting our own business – however it is not that simplistic. In doing the math 52 weeks a year divided by 6 weeks per production cycle leaves 8.67 units. Each unit profit to the farmer is $400 EC which leaves us with a income of $3,468.00 per year. If we factor the cost of labour, equipment ( freezers, de-feathering equipment, etc.) facility, electricity, water, medicine, etc. etc. this leaves??? many of our past chicken farmers have paid enormous amounts to the feed companies and breeders only to watch them make money and farmers struggle. Our governmentS,(I said governmentS because i am being a technocrate – in other words an independent – not concerned about a party but rather our country) by not having a vision for the future of our economy which allows imports to our grocery stores, underminding our producers, grocery stores make more when the spread of what they pay to what they sell is the greatest and it appears that this is greatest with imports rather than with locally produced produce. Remember chicken back was once thrown away in other parts of the world – so lets say I was in Canada and I was throwing away my Chicken Backs and now i can make $.50 per pound in selling it in the southern market – good for me and good for the person importing.

    Thus we must not constantly come up with knee jerk reactions to just quench the thirst of our country we need to build a reservoir so that we never go with out water.

    These are our challenges.

    Posted by Doug | March 15, 2012, 11:12
  4. Whatever happened to the massive poultry project that was suppopsed to in operation already? Give us an update as to whether that project is still being pursued.

    Posted by Eric | March 15, 2012, 15:03
  5. Nice Doug, written with intelligence, quite refreshing not to read some crap written by VINCYPOWA and the like.

    VINCYPOWA, well thats a turn up for the book, you actually admitting that you Marxist scum bags are TRYING TO ELIMINATE BIGGS. We know what you are smelling to much of, you need to stop brown-noseing Gonsalves.

    VINCYPOWA is like a hungry fish, easy to play, easy to catch. Bye BUB.

    now then don’t be angry BUB

    Posted by Peter | March 15, 2012, 15:24
  6. We are buying chicken back in Canada just to correct that point. Mr Peter you are totally a sick man.

    Posted by vastina Browne | March 15, 2012, 17:12
  7. Now the minister is talking. I have been discussing the same thing with some Vincentians lately. The minister is on the right track. He needs to travel the entire island listening to farmers and letting them know of his plans. I’d be glad to attend any forum he sets up to address this issue. The theft of farmers’ product must be address to bring them online. He should not expect them to come back without some guarantee that thieves will be caught and prosecuted.
    He doesn’t have to make this position the dead-end street that Ralph place before him. He can make this an open high-way that puts him in the leadership race for his party.
    Go for it and good luck!

    Posted by Vere | March 15, 2012, 18:24
  8. VASTINA BROWNE, what on earth are you talking about? Doug mentioned chicken-back, not me.

    Good on you, if you like chicken backs eat them.

    Eating pig feet, cattle foot, chicken back is what is left over from the days of slavery. Those are the things the master never ate, he fed them to the slaves.

    But if you like them eat them, go to McDonalds and get a pig foot burger, I don’t care what you eat.

    But what you need to know is that many people in SVG can’t even afford those items because they are so poor they buy half a pound of chicken back at a time. Kill a yard fowl catch an iguana, catch some fish, but that ok if your fit, if your old and infirm, well stuff you go and die. This is a wicked regime with more people starving than ever before. Thank god many people have family abroad who send the a little something.

    Posted by Peter | March 15, 2012, 20:28
    • Peter you just mentioned something that i was trying to research for a very long time. Where in SVG can i find a shop selling Half pound of chicken back? Just tell me one place and ill donate $500 to charity.

      Posted by John | March 16, 2012, 15:11
  9. Peter, we’re still waiting for INTELLIGENCE to come from your FINGERTIPS to KEYS, but that is like waiting for an ELEPHANT to FLY.

    That said; where in my POST did I ADMIT to anyone TRYING to ELIMINATE BIGGER BIGS?

    You made a PHANTOM claim that that government is trying to eliminate BIGGER BIGS and…..uhm…let me post your EXACT quote.

    You said, “it comes as no surprise to me that the ULP government once again want to destroy Biggs by introducing overwhelming chicken industry, in the hope that Biggs will be finally eliminated.”

    How did you come to that CONCLUSION based on what is WRITTEN?

    In other words, what does any of what is WRITTEN in the article has to do with TRYING to ELIMINATE BIGGER BIGS?

    See if you can come up with an INTELLIGENT RESPONSE/ANSWER for ONCE.

    Posted by VINCY POWA (@VINCYPOWA) | March 16, 2012, 08:49
  10. Guys I was part of this project about 25 years ago when the Flour Mills (under Mr Ferdinand) was pursuing this. I had over EC$ 25000 at my disposal and the NCB & others did not want to give me a loan for the rest.
    The fact is I had a supplier and a guaranteed buyer and my intention was to turn over 3000 birds every week.
    What else could you ask for?
    Senator Francis at the time I think was the loans Manager and Mr Samuel the bank Manager.
    The bank decided instead to lend money to buy mini buses and the Manager was more concerned with sucking up to one of my cousins who lived in Trinidad and had no problem in wanting to offer the said cousin a loan to buy the house of a bank employees parents. So what did i do, I took my black so and so and my money and promoted shows throughout the Caribbean.
    So Saboto if you can pull it off good luck.
    My question is, is the Flour Mill part of this as they need to be on board.

    Posted by Earlyn Warren | March 17, 2012, 19:14
  11. Is it true that biggs business was started from cocaine money?

    Posted by Jason | March 18, 2012, 15:56
  12. Jason, ask PETER, because he seems to be QUITE FAMILIAR with BIGGER BIGGS.

    Peter, please answer Jason’s question for us.

    Posted by vincypowa | March 18, 2012, 21:47
  13. JASON AND VINCYPOWA, I hope that in your attempt to dirty the name of Biggs [who I have never met] you are not working under the instruction of Gonsalves, by association you certainly are dirtying his name with this one.

    Its only more evidence to decent Vincentian people what a bunch of dirty stinking dogs you Marxist scum really are. You hide behind the cloak of Labour, you are no more labour than Stalin was.

    Keep up the good work for the NDP, because you are truly helping to destroy the ULP with your indecent posts and lies.

    That’s the problem Labour has in joining with a bunch of Marxist communist scum bags.

    Posted by Peter | March 20, 2012, 08:58
    • Gentlemen and Ladies in an effort to return to a discussion about chicken production with the intention to increase the standard of living for the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines we must ask ourselves if we have the necessary infrastructure to enter the international export market and the ability for local chicken producers to compete effectively within our country with imported products.It appears that we do not. It appears that imports are cheaper than what our own chicken producers can bring to the market. We must ask why. Can it be because foreign producers can bring the product to market in quicker time, are more reliable and less expensive? Are we aware that the producers abroad use growth hormones and feeding techniques that maximizes the weight of the bird over the shortest period, to such a degree that the birds’ legs often cannot support their own weight -this alone is raising ethical issues in some countries. Are we aware the birds are processed in a production line with minimal human interaction thus enabling lower costs and the whole bird is brought to a market thus maximizing profit. Thus how are we going to compete internationally? Can we? Not only would we have to compete on production issues but the issue of quality control and tracking of product must be implemented as well. The world is operating on systems based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) . Countries like Canada are working on tracking systems which follow the food products from the farm to shelf so if there is an outbreak in food borne diseases and illness it can be traced to the origin and where it was distributed to. (A side question – What system does St. Vincent and The Grenadines have?)
      Regardless of who the producer is, as we are focused on at the moment, they may not be able to compete, thus within the present model this dream of mass exports of chicken may be unworkable and supply our own markets??
      A saying that I have heard numerous times in my career: There are dreamers, talkers and doers.
      It does appear we, as a country we have a lot of dreams which appears only to survive in the dream world. But without purpose what do we have? We need to start to get it right.
      Another common business statement which we maybe should be looking more closely at: It is all smoke and mirrors, smoke and mirrors.
      Everyone have a great week and wish all the best to you and family

      Posted by Doug | March 21, 2012, 20:26
  14. Doug, a nice post, its such a shame that the minister is unable to follow the intelligence that people give him and he chooses to ignore.

    Posted by Peter | March 22, 2012, 10:39
  15. I worry about the ALBA directives to members to make farming projects state owned projects and to have the name ALBA applied.

    We already have the fruit juice canning plant owned by the government. Then we have a project at Lauders that is losing a crap load of money. Producing products in direct competition with private companies, such as Erica’s.

    I hope that this chicken project is going to be a private project. Didn’t the government do something with chicken on the Leeward?

    By the way Doug, Australia, UK and EU banned hormones in chicken production 40 years ago, and America a long time ago also, not sure of exact time. It seems that almost everywhere they allow hormones in beef cattle production, and also milk cows to increase milk production.
    Doug you are quite right we will never be able create an export market, because we will never be able produce in the way required by the export markets. Remember under this ULP government we have been trying to get approval to export fish to the EU, in 12 years trying we never got approval because we cannot meet there demands and standards, and its not that difficult to do, if you have the right people, right facilities, and some money to invest.

    Don’t forget feedstuffs prices in US are very low compared to SVG. Main ingredient in chicken feed is soy bean, because it is high in protein and eliminates to some extent the use of blood bone and meat meal.

    With regards to projects from foreigners, get the due diligence done on them before you buy an air-ticket. Everyone that this government tries to get into bed with are either crooks or flakes. We all know who I am talking about without me naming names. The other thing is, we need to beware of our people being bribed to get us into crap projects, don’t say oohhhh, we know what goes on. I am not saying for one moment Saboto you are one of this type of person, I am sure your not. But already I understand that someone from ULP has got 7cents a pound in the very same deal, you complete the deal, they get the hand outs. Just look around you and see who most is pushing for the deal and you have the answer.

    Posted by Peter | March 22, 2012, 14:41
  16. Thanks Peter about correcting the statement regarding growth hormones. I got mixed up with antibiotics – need to give my head a shake. Your responses are very freshing. Have a great week everyone.

    Posted by Doug | March 22, 2012, 17:03
  17. DOUG, your correct about the antibiotics. Pumping birds with antibiotics could well mean that all of us who eat these birds are building a resistance to that particular or closely associated antibiotic. When we get ill we may be in trouble finding an antibiotic that will work for us.

    Problem is if farmers keep huge flocks there is always a real possibility of disease wiping out the lot. That could mean bankrupting the farmer in one hit. That’s why farmers should have a rigid and most strict hygiene regime that includes banning anyone from the farm except the operatives. Operatives and any authorised visitors should be made to walk through a foot bath containing an antibacterial liquid.
    Workers from another poultry house or farm, or people who visit farms on business, such as selling feed stuff or equipment, should definitely be banned.
    Chickens should be kept in smaller groups in several different houses, houses should preferably be at least 1/8 mile apart. Layers should never come into contact with meat production birds or be kept in the close proximity of each other, even in pens that are partitioned by wire or a wall.

    Farmers should carry out culling of birds that show the slightest sign of sickness, drooping of necks, dropping of wings, sneezing, standing still and generally looking sick, kill these birds and burn them of bury them in a lime pit. Under no circumstances should these culled birds enter the food chain.

    The poultry houses should be sterilised by steam between each batch of birds, changing the litter also between each batch.

    Just a little to go on with, I could easily write a thousand pages on the subject.

    Posted by Peter | March 23, 2012, 11:29
  18. Martin Luther had a dream….he didn’t leave to see it but it somewhat materialized. Sure thing some people eat chicken back, chicken foot or some the other things that were mentioned above. Some people have no choice in the fact because that’s just what they could afford and others just like it regardless to how much money they have in there pockets. We are a small nation and if there is a dream of a project that some people can benefit from and in fact by keeping over 20 mil in the local economy i know for a fact the spin off effect would be quite tremendous. Keep the ideas flowing, give your support, concerns and make queries instead of shutting down the idea. Andrew Carnegie is a great role model and u had a dream, only a dream, couldn’t read or write as a teenager but today long after he has passed on we see his name everywhere especially on PBS and libraries. Being behind is one thing, staying behind is another there’s no reason why we can’t at-least push a project to keep some that money around maybe 20% is not such a bad goal until we really prove we can try to compete internationally. So later tonight when i decide to hang out and roast some chicken back and banana with the fellas by the bar i go ask them what they think about roasting chicken back that was locally produced here in SVG…..

    Posted by Wade | March 24, 2012, 08:52
  19. Peter you real stupid in truth.What does what I said have to do with ULP? That’s word off the streets you stupid moron.Why ndp supporters stupid so? Like ya’ll following “useless” in truth.Cause the the biggest dummy in vincy.

    Posted by Jason | March 24, 2012, 16:28
  20. Am so happy for this project. All those millions of dollars could stay right here in SVG. Everyone should be proud of this latest venture, and wish them all the best. This will create lots of needed jobs and boost the economy.

    Posted by jason Edwards | March 24, 2012, 23:19
  21. I feel a great triumph over you pea brained dick heads. You all can’t see further than the back of Gonsalves head.

    You see I know the truth, its not a vision, I actually know the truth from my immense experience and inside information.

    Your previous posts show you for what you are, ignorant people that Gonsalves classically calls his “Dunce Class”
    Putty in Gonsalves hands, silly little people that he manipulates to the nth degree.

    You cannot put forward any real input, just stupidity. What an embarrassment you must be to your family and friends, and all those ULP Marxist’s who have a great giggle at your expense.

    Of course your shear stupidity causes great damage to the ULP, because you are a great turn off to intelligent would be voters.

    At least VINCYPOWA can put forwards his lies and stupidity with some class, all be it total crap that he writes. But he is ULP paid to put forward his crap, so he has to show some class in his writing’s, which no one believes any way.

    Posted by Peter | March 26, 2012, 08:04
  22. Remember I mentioned the use of high protein Soy in chicken feed. All of the feed ingredients would need to be imported, so instead of importing chicken we would be importing feed stuff ingredients. Probably no one has calculated that the $23 million would be greatly reduced by the cost of feed stuff ingredient import. Do you also realise that the Gonsalves government derive substantial duties for some parts of the chicken, do you really think they will want to give that up?
    I doubt that ECMills could cope with this huge extra volume. ECMills would also increase the cost of the feed to such a degree that it would kill any real profit that hard working poultry farmers can derive from poultry production. Also I am not sure that they can be trusted with consistently producing high quality feed, they proved that with layer feed last year. Producing layer feed without enough calcium and lime calcite in it, caused huge loss’s to the egg farmers, through production of soft shelled eggs.
    Calcium is the primary mineral that makes up eggshells and when not supplied in the diet, the hen does not have the basic materials needed to make the shell. The problem is produced when whole grains or feeds deficient in minerals and vitamins make up the bulk of the laying hen diet. Thin egg shells are observed when calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3 are not provided in diets at adequate levels. It is more often observed during periods of hot weather because calcium is conserved and retained within the hen’s body less efficiently.

    A separate mill for feed production should be built as part of a chicken producer program, owned and operated by the Poultry Producers Association.

    Just remember that flakes and frauds are at play from abroad, they have already offered a ULP man 7 cents a pound for every bird that goes through the proposed new plant at Diamond. I am not suggesting that Saboto Caesar is part of this, because it is someone else that I refer to.

    The proposed site at Diamond is part of the new stadium area, so you can all forget about that stadium at Diamond. Just ask what happened to the US$1.5 million present and the US$3.5 million loan from Gadhaffi, where is that money, its about 15million EC$s, which is certainly not chicken-feed.

    Where is ittttttttt.

    Posted by Peter | March 26, 2012, 09:04
  23. Any more Marxist crap to add to this article?

    Posted by Peter | March 29, 2012, 18:21
  24. The only way we can make a real saving on rearing our own chicken, is if we grow and produce everything that goes into the feedstuff.

    That is impossible.

    We really need someone with some simple common-all-garden business acumen, it would save a lot of wasted time and money.

    Posted by Peter | March 31, 2012, 21:08
  25. Some very good points were made in these post, however isn’t it about time we stop depending on the Govt for all our answers ? is it not time for us as a notion to work together for our own betterment? NDP, LADOUR, and who ever else should never be the deciding factor in any project. The Govt should be assisting the Farmers who wich to persue alternatives to Bananas as the main cash crop. Our people are stretch far and wide with more connections than we realize. Its the parties (NDP, LOBOUR) that mash up things. Each destroys one another for the same reason. Lets us all put parties a side for once and contribute something much more meaningful to our home, our land , we need to strive for self suffency and cut back on the importation, but we also need to look at the cost from all angles. And I am sure there is also a million and one other projects we can also come with to meet demands and cut cost we need to have specialized production and not just have 10-20 farmers producing the same thing. 2 formers produce chicken in large quantities is enough. another 2 producing Rabits in supply and demand quantities, 10-15 farmers producing yams,patatoes etc. The idea is to divirsefy and produce as much locally as possible with specialization in our produces. not having one farmer producins some of everything and not enough of anything. in this way we can combat deaseas etc.

    Posted by john | April 12, 2012, 09:19

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