More chicken on local market than people can eat – Jagdeo


Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, on Thursday rejected claims by the Opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) that there is a shortage of chicken on the local market which has contributed to an increase in retail prices and smuggling.

The Vice President spoke at a press conference hosted by the governing People’s Progressive Party in his capacity as General Secretary and in response to statements made during an Opposition press conference Thursday morning, said from his research there is a glut of chicken in the country.

Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton had expressed concern with what he said was a government-imposed ban on chicken imports.

General Secretary of the PPP/C, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo (Photo: News Room/March 23, 2023)

But Jagdeo explained that the government will stand by its decision to limit the importation of chicken, pointing out that with local production only, there is more chicken available than the market demands.

To this end, he rejected claims that prices have soared for the commodity in recent months and also committed to addressing possible smuggling through the agencies empowered to do so.

“Norton doesn’t understand details of the sector,” Jagdeo said while reminding that there was a time when all the chicken on the local market was imported.

Today, with support from the PPP/C government, some 140 million pounds of chicken are being produced annually. It is for this reason Jagdeo said companies that depend on the commodity are booming and the country, through local production only, is able to satisfy its high consumption rate.

“We eat a lot of chicken in this country.

“All these places are booming, KFC and so on and that’s all because of our local production,” Jagdeo added.

He said some 18, 000 Guyanese currently earn a livelihood from this industry and told reporters attending his press conference at the party’s Robb Street, Georgetown Headquarters that Norton has raised the issue because his party is being financed by an importer.

He did not name the importer.

“Norton wants to take that away to allow imported chicken to come in and kill the livelihood of all these farmers. They want to kill local production and they were paid off to make this case,” Jagdeo contended.

In recent months, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) was forced to take several persons before the courts for chicken smuggling following investigations. Local producers have also taken to social media to complain about how smuggling is hurting local production.

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