Dominicans are being asked to pay much more for chicken that is processed in the newly opened local Abattoir, than what they have been accustomed to pay for imported chicken. Agriculture Minister Johnson Drigo says this is because imported chicken is a ‘lesser valued product’.
Drigo is however urging Dominicans to purchase chicken that has been processed in the local abattoir, which may be processing imported birds.
Drigo said “The price of the chicken coming down from the abattoir will always be more expensive than the price of the chicken coming from overseas because the chicken coming from overseas is a lesser valued product”.
He argues that the poultry from the abattoir is “fresh” and simply chilled, while imported chicken has “been frozen for how long.” Drigo is urging Dominicans to support the abattoir, by purchasing the locally produced chicken. This, he said, can eventually reduce the amount of chicken imported.
He advised Dominicans to buy what is local and start introducing more of the abattoir products into your families and kitchen, so that your children will like it, and we can slowly increase our market share, because we have to increase our local market share. He added, it will be incremental, but we want to ensure that over time, we can reduce that massive import of chicken into this island.
In March 2016, Minister Drigo said the abattoir is expected to cater to at least 40% of the chicken consumed in Dominica. Government had revealed that the abattoir costs about $10-million and that it would have a output capacity of 1,000 birds per hour, and 50 pigs per day. It was said that the abattoir was built to ensure food security, reduce the food import bill, and provide employment for Dominicans.
Prime Minister Skerrit himself had called for consumers to develop a greater appreciation for local produce, as the success of the abattoir and other investments, which were geared at reducing the island’s food import bill, relies largely on consumers.
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