BAS: Egg problems should be solved by May
The problem plaguing Barbadian egg producers that has resulted in a prolonged shortage of the item could last for another three months.
The Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) said the challenges stemmed from the United States where there also appeared to be a shortage.
Chief executive officer James Paul informed Barbados TODAY that the problem was now resolving itself, but would take a little more time.
“I would say that by May producers would have adjusted to the new arrangement in terms of sourcing hatching eggs on the international market and it get back to normal as a result.”
Paul insisted that the situation was a “temporary anomaly”.
“We are trying to build our own capacity in Barbados and this was an anomaly and what we have is a situation where once things get back to normal, we should be able to satisfy the local poultry market as we are accustomed to doing,” he added.
At the same time, he admitted that local producers “fell down” as it related to the supply of eggs, though he said the “peculiarities” on the international scene had caused producers to do advance purchasing, sometimes by as much as six months.
“Where [before] you could order one month and get your eggs in a matter of four weeks or so, that was not the case. You had to do quite a bit of forward bookings, which I think caught a lot of producers off guard. That is something we have to adjust to, however, I think that [this year] we have adjusted and we should see the situation returning to normal as a result,” he said.
The BAS had previously contacted the Jamaica Egg Farmers Association, inquiring about the possibility of supplying an estimated 300,000 eggs.
However, Paul said the BAS had decided not to pursue the matter due to the inability of that Caribbean island to meet the Barbados demand consistently.
President of the Jamaica Egg Farmers Association Roy Baker had told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper that members could only meet two thirds of the amount requested, based on the short time frame.