Jamaica Broilers increasing supply of baby chicks

Jamaica Broilers increasing supply of baby chicks

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) is set to increase the supply of baby chicks to small farmers as the company, through its Hi-Pro band, reintroduces its second hatchery to the production line in response to rising demand.

A company release stated that Colonel Jaimie Ogilvie, whose portfolio includes JBG's baby chick retail business, indicated that the Government's policy initiative, aimed at reducing the importation of chicken products, has presented economic opportunities for small poultry farmers who are now seeking to fill the void.

Small farmers are major contributors to the industry, supplying up to 40 per cent of chicken meat to Jamaican consumers.

Despite numbers demonstrating that Hi-Pro maintained the same level of chick supply to the market as it did last year July and August, there has been a strong surge in demand, well beyond the norm, further to the COVID-19 imposed lockdowns and restrictions on businesses in April and May 2020.

“This increased level of demand means that there is now a sustainable situation for which we can plan and prepare, and as such we will be ramping up our operations to make more baby chicks available to small farmers so that they can continue production towards meeting the demands of the market,” the release quotes Ogilvie, vice-president of JBG's Hi-Pro division.

He said the increased levels of activity in the sector by the thousands of small chicken farmers will allow them to regain their livelihoods, spur further growth in the sector, and contribute to the overall economic recovery of the country while boosting food security.

“We are preparing our second hatchery at Cumberland, Portmore, in readiness for any additional demand. Persons are turning to chicken farming for a living now that competing imports have been significantly reduced in the market. So, JBG is getting ready for demand over and above what we anticipate,” said Colonel Ogilvie.

In addition to making adjustments to ready their second facility, the company has placed emphasis on sourcing additional, fertile hatching eggs to ensure continued supply to the hatchery operations in support of the sustainability of this critical sector.

Colonel Ogilvie posited, however, that increases in the production of baby chicks must take into consideration the natural timelines included in the process, such as the 21-day hatching cycle of the birds.

“While we have every confidence in the local poultry industry to fully meet the increased demand, escalating the production of baby chicks is not an overnight occurrence,” he said. “However, we can assure our small farmers that we have heard their concerns and are putting operational plans in place to respond to their sustained demands, and will continue to do so to ensure that our community will #GrowStrong again.”

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