The rising costs of grain on the world market along with other economic and environmental impacts over the years is severely affecting the poultry industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“… the price increase right now is actually crippling the farmers… For all of us, it means less eggs,” Veterinary Officer Coleen Phillips told the Agency for Public Information.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post on May 31, poultry farmer Jozette Bowen pointed out that six months ago, 100 sacks of layer feed cost roughly $2,800, or $28 per sack.
“… now you are paying $4,600 for the same 100 sacks and the price of eggs basically remains the same … how long yall think farmers going stay in and lose money … prepare for eggs to go scarce!” Bowen said.
In her comments to API, Phillips said that although the government would try to provide subsidies given the circumstances, it is still a case where “we would not be able to maintain the subsidies”.
She said that for farmers and the industry to remain sustainable, an increase in the price of eggs is inevitable.
A flat of eggs is currently sold for EC$20.
“… for them (poultry farmers) to really make a profit, they would have to sell for probably 28 dollars a flat…” Phillips said.
“There is no way the industry can remain viable if we sell at $20 a flat; the farmers are not going to make it and the industry will crumble.”
Phillips said her department is using public awareness to try to help consumers understand why the pending increase is necessary.