No chicken shortage for this Christmas season Business Minister assures
Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin has assured that the issuance of licenses for the importation of chicken has nothing to do a shortage of the commodity.
During a recent interview, the Minister assured that there will be no shortage of chicken for the upcoming holiday season on the local markets.
Already the Ministry of Business would have granted 19 licenses to import poultry between the months of July to December for this year making it the second batch of import licenses to be issued.
According to the Minister, upon his assumption of the post, it was found that the Ministry issues licenses annually for the importation of Chicken, however, he noted that there were no proper guidelines on the reason or criteria for doing so.
“So I decided that come 2016, there would be a consultation with all the stakeholders and we would make a determination early in the year as to how we will allocate chicken licenses. We had a meeting in January in which we agreed that we would import a little under two million pounds of chicken for the year 2016 and that was based on a discussion and some consultations and previous years’ importation figures. We then decided that we would issue those licenses in two tranches, one for the first half of the year and one for the second half of the year. We issued licenses for the first half of the year to the tune of 950 million pounds and in the second half of the year, we issued another set of licenses” the Minister explained.
Minister Gaskin said just recently he received additional requests for licenses but those were denied.
As of next month, the first batch of licenses for the coming year will be granted and issued on a first come; first served basis and will be valid for six months only.
News Room visited the market today where it was noticed that chicken is being retailed at $360 per pound while a tray of eggs is $1000.