Hurricane Dean damages poultry industry
The damage incurred by small independent poultry farmers due to the
destruction of hurricane Dean is already evident, with an obvious effect on the
country's poultry sector.
More than 100,000 day-old chicks were dumped last week as farmers affected
by the Category Four hurricane were unable to purchase poultry from its
hatchery, says Jamaica Livestock Association CEO, Henry J. Rainford, adding that
thousands of poultry farmers islandwide lost their livestock, coops and
Rainford said that one of the major problems is that customers have nowhere
to put the chicks. "We lost almost a week's supply of chicks as some 150,000 are
usually sold per week to the farmers," he said, adding that more than 100,000
day-old chicks make up approximately 30-40% of the country's broiler
He has pleaded with the government to provide assistance to the poultry
farmers in terms of funding to rebuild coops and to purchase equipment and
"They will bounce back very quickly if they get assistance. Within eight
weeks they can be back in business," said Rainford.
He noted that this devastation will no doubt impact on the number of
ready-to-eat poultry on the market and possibly the price of chicken meat.
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