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IICA continues to invest in regional agricultural development, the latest to SKN’s budding broiler industry with training and consultation

St. Kitts and Nevis,  November 30, 2023 (IICA-SKN) – Food security is one of the pillars for the Caribbean in achieving sustainability as the region works toward making the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals a reality by 2030.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is working assiduously throughout the region to help countries achieve substantial gains in relying less on food importation by providing resources and training to make it possible to increase self-reliance. 

More than 90% of the total food consumed in the OECS comes from imports. 

The Hon. Samal Duggins, responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives (MAFMRC),  has said the government of St. Kitts and Nevis is committed to ensuring the 25% reduction in food imports is cut and circulated in the Federation – which would be some EC$40 million spent externally being reinjected into the economy.

[caption: ECCB metrics on SKN’s contributors to Food Import Bill. Source: https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/food-import-bill-tracker]

The OECS Food and Agriculture Systems Transformation (FAST) Strategy suggests poultry production for food security and food self-reliance to work alongside the Federation’s commitment to CARICOM’s 25% by 2025 Agenda.

One of the most significant imports for the Federation is poultry, which has an annual import value of EC$19.2 million.

Additionally, as part of the Federation’s plan to reduce the money spent outside the territory, the government is investing in building a poultry slaughtering facility in Nevis capable of slaughtering 700/800 birds an hour or 10,000 birds a week.

With the recently purchased turn-key commercial poultry slaughtering facility, the gap in poultry production can be significantly filled.  However, local know-how in managing such a facility and that to increase poultry production needs to be improved. Thus, training is necessary. 

IICA recently partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture Nevis to host Broiler Training Consultations to develop the broiler poultry industry in St. Kitts and Nevis.

IICA St.Kitts & Nevis in collaboration with Department of Agriculture, Nevis broiler production training workshop facilitated by Consultant Mr. Dayanand Singh

Posted by IICA St.Kitts & Nevis on Wednesday, November 15, 2023

 (IICA St.Kitts & Nevis/Department of Agriculture, Nevis broiler production training workshop facilitated by Consultant Dayanand Singh out of Trinidad and Tobago)

The outcome of the training consultations was:

  • The Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Deputy Director of Agriculture, Floyd Liburd, conducted a study tour of a poultry production and slaughterhouse in Trinidad from October 23-27, 2023.
  • Dayanand M Singh, a Poultry management consultant, visited St Kitts and Nevis on a Training and Fact-finding mission November 13 -17, 2023.  He conducted farm visits in St Kitts and Nevis, training farmers and a special training session for Extension Officers.  
  • Singh met with Officials to discuss and make recommendations for the poultry broiler slaughterhouse and production system.

Floyd Liburd, Deputy Director of Agriculture in the NIA, spoke of his experience in Trinidad and how his visit would impact the buildout of the broiler industry in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“I must say that I learned a lot on that trip. We looked at pens [and] how they are laid out, we looked at stock density in terms of the broilers, we looked at the processing plant. I must say that some of those techniques used in terms of pen construction and how the pen is laid out would be a crucial part in our process of trying to develop the broiler industry here in the Federation.”

Liburd expressed gratitude to IICA for the opportunity and to the consultant in Trinidad who facilitated the tour, suggesting that what was observed could be implemented in St.Kitts and Nevis.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to show its commitment to its investment in Agriculture, as shown in the 2023 national budgetary allocation toward agriculture of 2.54% of the total expenditure, compared to 1.8% in the 2020 budget. 

With no commercial poultry slaughtering facility in the Federation, there is a shortfall in locally produced chicken to meet consumers’ demands. 

Private broiler production has declined because small producers cannot process birds in a food-safe manner. 

The Ministry of Agriculture requested the assistance of IICA to provide an opportunity to support the development of the agricultural sector, which aligns with IICA’s continued leadership in the Eastern Caribbean in supporting and operationalising agricultural transformation. This project significantly adds to IICA’s rich history of supporting industry development.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is the specialised agency of the Inter-American System for Agriculture that supports the efforts of the Member States to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being, with Headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica. 

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