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Trinidad to lower chicken prices

The government of Trinidad recently approved the removal of a 40 % import surcharge on poultry products.

Importing poultry meat from South America, may reduce prices even further. Guyana and Belize have already been identified as candidates for meat importation announced Trade Minister, Kenneth Valley. He said that the removal of the surcharge and the importation of chicken, and other types of meat, was part of the government's effort to bring down escalating food prices, which have increased 26 % this year. The increases were attributed to the global increase in the price of grains (feed) due to extreme weather conditions.

The removal of the surcharge is not good news for local chicken producers, as they will now get greater competition from cheaper, foreign sources of chicken. In 2004, local producer Nutrimix, attempted to file an injunction that would prevent Government from lifting the surcharge on imported chicken parts. It was not granted.

Valley said the Government was working with the Ministries of Agriculture and Health to put up the necessary inspection process for the importation of South American meat products. Inspection is already taking place in Guyana, Valley said. Belize, he added, has some of the cheapest chicken in the region. 



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