Tue | May 30, 2023

Easing import duty on chicken will have adverse effects

Published:Saturday | January 29, 2022 | 12:06 AM


The announcement made by Agriculture Minister Pearnel Charles Jr about importation of chicken parts, with possible easing of import duties, could have adverse effects on our local market. Though he said that this would be temporary and might be feasible for the short term, it poses greater risks, with a myriad of negative effects that may follow in the long term.

The increases raw materials along with the increase of electricity cost, have aided in the increase in chicken prices. The greater impact, however, affects the wages of consumers, which remain the same even as prices rise.

Saving today on cheap imports can have a devastating impact on the economy tomorrow, as low-quality imports can put Jamaican poultry workers out of their jobs, while it can be beneficial and drive employment in the originating country. It will have a ripple effect on ours, as with every job loss comes the need for government spending on social impact programmes.

I strongly recommend that the Government look into subsidising the cost of the main imported ingredients of chicken feed by 15 per cent to reduce local costs, rather than the importation of chicken parts and easing of import duties.