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(CMC) – The Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) has called on the government to stop importing chicken wings.
Chief Executive Officer James Paul, a former legislator, made the call claiming a glut is in the offing.
Paul was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting on Saturday with regional trade ministers .
He noted that due to the increase in wing imports local chicken farmers are suffering financially as supermarket shelves stock more imported poultry than locally produced parts.
“What we are finding is that [wings are] being imported in such quantities that it is having a negative impact on the amount of chicken that is being sold locally. We made a survey of a number of supermarkets and what we are finding is that space that should be occupied by local chicken is now being occupied by imported chicken,” Paul said.
The BAS official said the chief agency for importing chicken – the Barbados Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation, is having a negative impact on the livelihood of farmers across the island,” adding that the government needs to impose limits on the importation of poultry.
“We cannot have a situation where a state corporation in trying to cover its expenses is doing so at the expense of the same farming community that they are trying to develop.”
“We also have a situation where the small producers in our country – and those are the persons who grow 500 chicken to 1000 chickens or 1500 chickens – are now having difficulty getting their chickens sold. When we go to that particular level we have to express some concern.
According to Paul, farmers can cover the poultry needed for the upcoming holiday season, leaving only a minimal need for imported parts.