Feed a major constraint to poultry industry- Ministry
-Ramsammy issues warning
The Ministry of Agriculture will on Monday hold a consultation with experts on a major constraint facing the poultry industry – the availability of quality stock feed – and Minister Leslie Ramsammy warned that he will ensure that all laws are complied with, a statement apparently aimed at Guyana Stockfeeds Limited.
In a statement today, Ramsammy said that chicken production for the first half of this year was up 9% compared to last year but he said that farmers were complaining about the cost, availability and quality of stock feed. He added that prices have been pushed up without any notice to farmers or the ministry.
Ramsammy said that stock feed availability in Guyana depends on production from one major producer, Guyana Stockfeeds Ltd., which he said accounts for about 60% of the stock feed available in Guyana. Bounty Farms also produces stock feed, but mainly for its own use, Ramsammy said, adding that there are some small producers but their impact on the market presently is negligible.
The Minister said that poultry farmers have been complaining for some time now about the cost of stock feeds but that the major complaint from farmers, particularly small ones, has been related to the quality of stock feeds. He said that farmers have been complaining that the stock feeds being purchased do not meet quality standards and do not support the healthy growth of poultry.
In this respect he said that the Guyana Livestock Development Authority has been investigating the quality of stock feeds on the market.
“We have been doing surveillance studies to determine if the allegations of the farmers have any merit. We have also embarked on an exercise to determine the chemical and physical composition of the stock feed.
“We are extremely grateful for the cooperation from the Guyana Poultry Association. We, however, will urge all stakeholders to support the GLDA as we try to put in place mechanisms to strengthen the poultry industry.
“Unfortunately, not all stakeholders have been cooperative and I will have to utilize the full force of the law and regulations to ensure cooperation. I, therefore, give notice that the Ministry of Agriculture will ensure that all laws are complied with in order to protect the poultry industry”, Ramsammy asserted.
He said that previously the Guyana National Bureau of Standards had drafted standards for stock feeds. These were never finalized. He said that the Ministry of Agriculture will work with the Bureau of Standards and the Ministry of Commerce to finalize these standards.
The Ministry will also strengthen provisions to ensure certification of feed plants and ensure quality of standards.
Ramsammy added that chicken prices remain stable on the local market.
“Indeed, prices compared to the same period in 2011 show a slight decrease. The truth is that even though we provided licences for importation of chickens earlier in the year, the Ministry of Agriculture is only aware of two importers who actually imported chicken”, he contended.
He also pointed out that chicken production has also increased to 13,329,083 kg for the first half of 2012, compared to 12,238,682 kg for the same period in 2011. This represents a 9% increase in production for 2012.