BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 16, 2023 (SKNIS) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Cooperatives, is moving forward with the development of the poultry sector in the Federation, as part of its overall goal of significantly reducing the food import bill.
This is being facilitated through St. Kitts and Nevis Layer Chicken Industry Sustainable Development Project, which is being jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Cooperatives and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF).
The project agreement was signed by Minister of Agriculture et al., the Honourable Samal Duggins and His Excellency Michael Lin, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis during a ceremony held today, Friday, June 16, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Layer Chicken Industry Sustainable Development Project will see the establishment of a hatchery on St. Kitts and one on Nevis, which, according to Minister Duggins will greatly benefit poultry farmers in the Federation.
“I am sure that our poultry farmers can all agree that there are several challenges when it comes to importing day-old chicks. Challenges such as the cost to purchase, flight stress, mortality, Customs and many more, but I want to say with pride that this new hatchery will produce over twenty thousand (20,000) day-old chicks per year for both meat and egg production,” Minister Duggins said.
The focus on reducing the importation of poultry falls directly in line with St. Kitts and Nevis’ pursuit of achieving CARICOM’s 25 percent by 2025 Agenda which is aimed at reducing the high regional food import bill. The implementation of the CARICOM Agri-Food Systems Strategy in the Member States is expected to help achieve the 25 by 2025 target by giving special attention to priority crops and products such as poultry, which is highly imported in the region.
In his remarks, Ambassador Lin said the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to be able to partner with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in its efforts to strengthen food security in the country.
He said, “This project aligns with the Ministry of Agriculture’s strategy for the transformation and the growth of agriculture in St. Kitts and Nevis 2022-2031 which focuses on priority areas for improvement. Moreover, it is also in line with the 25 by 25 reduction in the regional food bill of CARICOM to reduce the amount of imported food by 25 percent by 2025. With Taiwan’s expertise and experience, key objectives of this project include the establishment of breeding technology, as well as egg laying technology, ensuring the Federation’s ability to meet the production needs of chicken farmers in a self-sufficient and sustainable manner.”
Friday’s signing ceremony was also attended by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture on St. Kitts, Mr. Miguel Flemming and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture on Nevis, Mr. Huey Sargeant.