Opposition trying to manufacture scandal from Govt’s decision to import chicken – Agri Ministry

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

See full statement from the Ministry of Agriculture:

The Ministry of Agriculture reiterates that the Government of Guyana made a decision for the temporary importation of chicken following inadequate supply over recent months.

Most Caribbean countries are also affected by a shortfall in production which is primarily due to challenges that resulted from Inclusion Body Hepatitis (IBH) and increased temperatures and humidity over the last few months; conditions that are not ideal for broiler production.

The temporary importation was recommended by the National Poultry Association and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. This was made public in June of this year.

On December 1, 2023, having passed the requirements at the port of entry at Molsen Creek, two trucks bearing license plate numbers GAE 5137 and GAE 6041 which were transporting 898 boxes and 550 boxes of chicken respectively totaling some 58,000 pounds, were cleared by an on duty customs officers attached to the Guyana Revenue Authority at Molsen Creek.

It is important to note that the logistical aspect of the process, which was facilitated by the Ministry’s New Guyana Marketing Corporation catered for and included the outsourcing of transportation services.

This temporary initiative to import chicken taken by the Government of Guyana is demonstrative of it acting in a responsible manner cognizant of the negative impact of the inadequate supply and inflated prices. This was a deliberate effort to protect consumers.

In an article published by News Source last July, Minister Zulfikar Mustapha explained that the Ministry through the New GMC was purchasing the chicken and selling it to farmers who would then retail to consumers.

“We started to bring in some because with the hepatitis that they had, they had some issues. So, the GMC is selling it back to the farmers, who normally sell those chickens, so that the effect would not change. For example, if you were a poultry farmer, and you had issues with the disease, and your production level dropped, we will give you the chicken like about $265-$290 per pound, and you can retail it back, so, the price will remain the same, and you as a poultry farmer will not feel the effect that you are losing production,” the Agriculture Minister explained.

The Opposition having failed to recognize efforts by the Government of Guyana to cushion consumers from the inevitability of inflated prices resulting from inadequate supply, reverted to falsely accusing the Ministry and senior officials of being involved in the smuggling of chicken.

The Ministry sees this as a blatant attempt by the Opposition to manufacture a scandal and reiterates its condemnation of those statements which are baseless, reckless and libelous.The Ministry reiterates its call for the Opposition to withdraw its reckless statements.

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