Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 16, 2015 (SKNIS): There is a huge opportunity for pig farmers in St. Kitts and Nevis to benefit from the pork trade, said Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Eugene Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton said with some $8 million worth of pork being imported into St. Kitts and Nevis, individuals must capitalize on this opportunity.
“I think in that $8 million is a huge opportunity—in fact, many huge opportunities for individuals to turn themselves into financially independent individuals and look at what we are importing and produce them here,” Hamilton said on the weekly Government radio programme “Working For You.” He suggested that Government is there to guide persons to opportunities rather than just providing jobs.
On a related matter, Mr. Hamilton disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture is considering a new approach to ensure the production of high quality pork for the domestic market. He said the ministry is considering purchasing the animals from the farmers and that the abattoir, in turn, would produce the pork and market it to business establishments. What has prompted this move, the minister noted, was the concern by pork producers that imported pork fetched a lower price than local pork, even though locally produced pork is marketed as organic.
“It has caused the ministry to consider a new model of dealing with the locally produced pork…perhaps the abattoir could be moved in the direction of being a profit center on its own, which means that we’ll probably just purchase…you walk away with your money, abattoir takes care of the butchering and the distribution. We are considering, we don’t know if we will do it,” Hamilton said. He said this method is being considered because of the success of this same model in Nevis, but he wants to consult stakeholders first in St. Kitts before making a decision.
The hotels and other business establishments, the Minister Hamilton pointed out are not apt at engaging individual suppliers and this new model may help in this regard. In the meantime, the Government he noted is assisting some young men in Conaree with a facility to raise pigs and there is another pig facility in the Bayford’s area. He is encouraging other persons to get involved in raising pigs because of the opportunities that exist in earning an income.