Poultry Production in Bahamas Gets a Boost

BAHAMAS - Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) aims to increase the local production of poultry products.
calendar icon 20 January 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

BAIC chairman, Edison M. Key, wants to help increase the local production of poultry products, reports Bahama Islands Info.

With the assistance of College of The Bahamas poultry scientist, Ronald Justin Taylor, BAIC is planning instructional facilities for the North Andros agri-industrial park.

As he toured the park, Mr Key said: "There is a huge market for poultry products in The Bahamas. Chicken is a mainstay of the national diet. And, although chickens are relatively easy to raise, the vast majority of our poultry products, to the tune of many millions of dollars, is imported."

Mr Taylor, Inter-American Institute for Co-operation in Agriculture representative, Dr Marikis Alvarez, BAIC general manager, Benjamin Rahming, and assistant general managers, Judith Thompson (land) and Arnold Dorsett (agriculture) accompanied Mr Key.

Mr Taylor who has a masters degree in poultry science, is a poultry specialist and lecturer at the College of The Bahamas where he is engaged in research in poultry nutrition, husbandry and related aspects.

He added: "We import 100 per cent wings and leg quarters from the United States. These are sourced from places like Brazil at reduced cost and somewhat like dumped into the Bahamian market. So, the market for a fresh Bahamian product, which is superior to the imported products, is wide open."

He said centrally located Andros "has what it takes" for poultry production – lots of land and a good supply of fresh water.

Mr Taylor said: "Consumers in today's society are looking for fresh locally produced birds,” he said. “A bird straight from... the Bahamian environment can naturally sell itself, without a doubt."

Bahama Islands Info reports he pointed out that there is no certainty about the shelf value of imported eggs.

He said: "No one knows where they came from, how long have they been traveling, what their storage life is. Therefore you will have more chance of bacterial infection and reduced egg quality.

"Locally produced products limit these factors in terms of ease of availability of these products."

Mr Key envisioned small to medium-size operations, especially in egg production, being established in communities throughout the islands.

He said: "We met with several persons who seem to have great interest and some experience in poultry production. Through this initiative, we can supply the local market in such a way that we do not have to depend on product of dubious quality. We can produce a fresher product, and create a lot of jobs."

Ricardo Johnson of Love Hill manages a family-size operation of just under 200 chickens. He said each harvest sells out.

"Maybe his operation can be developed into a demonstration unit so other people can see what can be done," said Mr Key.

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