Poultry Farming Devastated in Pinar del Rio

CUBA - The two recent hurricanes have halved monthly egg production at Pinar del Rio.
calendar icon 17 September 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Up until the end of August, average monthly egg production in Pinar del Rio was between 20 and 22 million eggs, half of which was sent to Havana city to supply domestic needs.

The Cuban News Agency reports that calculations made after the passing of hurricanes Gustav and Ike shows that in September, production will not surpass 10 million, and that is only if the chicken feed is steady, something that has not been the case in the first half of the month. “We hope to cover the quota for the province, but we are no longer sending to the capital,” said Victor Fidel Hernandez, director of the Pinar del Rio Poultry Company.

Damage occurred in 298 of the 390 laying facilities (93 totally destroyed). More than 290,000 birds died and many others had to be killed ahead of schedule. The feed processing industry was also seriously affected.

Another factor that has affected production is that during the last two weeks, egg production had dropped to half as a result of the stress from the affectations.

“We had not suffered something similar since the founding of the National Poultry Center (CAN) in 1964. These two hurricanes destroyed the efforts of many people during all this time,” he added.

However, the women and men that year after year have made Pinar del Rio a leader in poultry farming are not standing by and doing nothing.

More than 350,000 hens were moved to other installations in the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Havana all in a period of five days.

“At this moment, feed is the most urgent problem. Although some has come in from Havana and Cienfuegos, it’s not enough. That makes it crucial to get our two plants back operating,” said the official.

At the same time, facility employees are working at rebuilding what was destroyed, some with help from construction workers from Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara and Holguin.

Poultry farms like the Benito Juarez of Guane and the El Rosario in Viñales are already producing, while others were totally destroyed like the Julian Aleman of Consolacion del Sur where the workers are trying to recover whatever materials they can.

The Julian Aleman poultry farm had just been repaired in 2007. “This year we had very good results, and we were hoping to be one of the most productive in the country,” said its administrator, Emilio Rojas.

He said the blow was a hard one for workers. Of the 82 women and men that work there, 51 also lost their homes. Nonetheless, he noted that all have come to help in the recuperation of the poultry farm.

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