He further commended egg farmers for the over 100 million eggs produced last year.
“We have to celebrate the egg industry. There was a time when we had to import eggs… but over the last five years we have not had to import any,” he noted.
Mr. Grant was addressing a breakfast meeting at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston recently, to highlight a push for increased egg consumption.
The meeting was used to introduce Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, to an ongoing campaign by the Jamaica Egg Farmers’ Association (JEFA), in partnership with the Hi-Pro Division of the Jamaica Broilers Group and the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC), to encourage Jamaicans to consume more eggs.
The JAS President commended the campaign, as well as private-sector organisations which continue to partner with farmers and the agricultural sector.
“We will continue to push the fact that agriculture is not the Cinderella of the Jamaican economy, but it is that sector that is going to drive economic growth, create jobs for our people, rebalance our economy and create a better quality of life for rural persons,” Mr. Grant said.
Meanwhile, President of the JEFA, Roy Baker, said the success of the egg-producing industry is due to a push by the association to provide First-World-quality eggs, by exposing egg farmers to international best practices.
He pointed out that through a partnership with stakeholders in Canada, farmers received training in farm food safety and good agricultural practices, as well as egg farming marketing systems.
Mr. Baker noted that while the average consumer uses six to seven eggs per week, the average Jamaican consumer only uses one to one and a half eggs per week.
“We are producing 2.6 million to 3.3 million eggs per week. If we could double that production, can you (imagine) the economic benefit to Jamaica,” Mr. Baker said.
He argued that this increased consumption would also result in significant financial gain for farmers as well as health benefits to consumers.
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