Grenada’s small-scale chicken farmers are modernizing the country’s poultry industry with help from the Canada Fund for Local Initiaves.
Canada has trained farm workers and updated equipment for 150 small-scale family farms to meet the new Caribbean Community standards. This initiative advances the overall quality of poultry products, increases food security, and improves the skills of farmers in rural communities.
Over the years, consumers raised serious sanitary concerns regarding the poultry industry. The Grenada Bureau of Standards’ investigation found that pens and slaughter equipment were not properly sanitized, and the products were not transported properly. Furthermore, poultry industry practices did not meet the new CARICOM standards, limiting Grenada’s ability to trade in the region.
Poultry products play an important role in alleviating poverty in the country. Not only are they well-integrated in the Grenadian diet, but they are an important source of income and employment for many low-income families in rural Grenada.
General Manager of the Grenada Association for Poultry Processors, Joshua Lewis, said, “The poultry industry has an enormous opportunity to create employment.” He stated that the industry alone can provide up to 4,000 local jobs.
In the rural regions of Grenada, approximately half of families have female heads, many of which are single-parent households living under the poverty line. This project will provide stable income for many women, and hopefully contribute to economic prosperity in the country.
“This project will strengthen the ability of small poultry farmers in Grenada to sell their products nationally. It is my hope that these improvements in sanitation, hygiene and good manufacturing practices will strengthen the farmers’ ability not just to sell nationally, but also internationally,” said High Commissioner Richard Hanley.
Canadian investment was used to train poultry processors and egg producers in good manufacturing processes. Funds also contributed to upgrading 20 small processing plants. Farmers received upgraded equipment and recording forms to track their sanitary progress. The investment also produced instructional DVD for future training and microbiology analysis on samples from poultry processing plants.