Antigua imports 50 million pounds of meat annually

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Pork Tenderloin and Blade Loin

Cabinet Notes: Five officials from the Ministry of Agriculture were invited to Cabinet to address the steps required to strengthen farming of both food crops and animal husbandry.

 

The Director of Agriculture, the Deputy Director, the two experts on livestock farming including the Chief Veterinary Officer and his Deputy, and a Consultant, brought the Cabinet up-to-date on the trends that are evident in  vegetable and meat production and the myriad challenges, since Covid-19 caused the closure of borders and a disruption in trade.

 

While farmers have made Antigua self-sufficient in eggs, the nation still imports 50 million pounds of meat—chicken, beef and pork primarily.

 

The officials reported that praedial larceny has discouraged the expansion of goats and sheep herding, since thieves decimate their herds. More chicken meat is being produced, but lesser quantities of beef; it appears that drought has caused a reduction in stocks, and the officials addressed the need for the diversified supply of animal feed. Antigua and Barbuda is free of many animal diseases; hence, artificial insemination is to be relied upon to increase the variety of the stocks.

 

Agriculture is to be seen as a business, the experts agreed, requiring the three inputs of all capitalist endeavours—land, labour, capital. New forms of agriculture which require reduced quantities of land, increases the expertise and knowledge of labour, but which might require higher quantities of capital investment, have begun to determine the best approach to farming.

In Antigua and Barbuda’s case, nearly 80% of inputs are imported, lessening the chances of achieving complete food security, the experts advised.

Nonetheless, to the extent possible, the farmers of Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to meet the demands for fresh farm products, rather than cause the population to import more.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Young people need to be encourage to take their changes in these markets. There is lots of roam for many. If we import about 50 million pounds at an avg of $5 per pound at the lowest rate it means we have a market of over $250 million dollars. We must carve out a local industry for ourself. Farming these days is not about school dropouts. These are university graduates that come home and set up proper businesses with high quality standards. Young people who have the qualification and want to setup a business need to be supported by the government with land and finances. Their qualification should be more than enough to take a chance on them. That is why as a government we need to encourage them to attend the universities to study in these fields with a promise that we will support them all the way.

    • Natty very good to know. But one thing I would to suggest. The public of Antigua is very skeptical when it comes to the quality of anything produced in country. Why don’t you guys start a certification program. That way you can separate yourself from those lessor qualified one in the market. Perhaps you guys should self regulate or ask the government of setup an independent body that will inspect all the farms and the butchers to give the public the assurance that the meat is of top quality

  2. There are too many animal thieves in Antigua.Could that be one of the reasons.People are not buying locally raised meats.In my opinion all sellers of meats in Antigua should be registered.The meats must be inspected and a certificate given before such sales begin.

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