Egg Farmers Challenge Minister’s Claim: St. Kitts and Nevis Self-Sufficient in Eggs for 30 Years

Egg farmers in St. Kitts and Nevis have come forward to challenge Minister Samal Duggins’ and his Ministry of Agriculture’s assertion that the country is working towards self-sufficiency in eggs within the next five years. The dispute arises from claims made during the lead up to the 2024 Agri Easter Night Market, where the focus was on local egg producers.

Leading the opposition to the Minister’s claim is the Managing Director of Springfield Egg Farm, one of the oldest egg farms in the Federation. He highlighted that St. Kitts and Nevis has already achieved self-sufficiency in eggs for over three decades, with local producers satisfying 99% of the islands’ egg consumption. The only exceptions were occasional shortfalls, notably in December, which were expected due to seasonal fluctuations in demand.

The Former Minister of Government and local egg farmer, Lindsay Grant, emphasized the erroneous nature of Duggins’  Agriculture Department’s claims regarding egg production. Grant pointed out that while the government’s focus on achieving self-sufficiency in various agricultural sectors is commendable, egg production does not require immediate attention as it has consistently met local demand.

Grant also shed light on the challenges faced in 2023 due to supply chain issues, which disrupted the regular supply of eggs. However, he stressed that such challenges were not indicative of a lack of self-sufficiency but rather external factors affecting the supply chain.

He further criticized the government’s narrow focus, stating that areas such as pork, meat, and vegetable production were where immediate attention was needed to address shortfalls. Grant deemed the government’s claim of working towards self-sufficiency in egg production as misleading to the public, given the longstanding success of local egg farmers.

The dispute underscores the importance of accurate information and collaboration between government officials and agricultural stakeholders to ensure effective policies and initiatives aimed at achieving food security in St. Kitts and Nevis. As the country strives towards its 25 by 25 agenda, it is essential to prioritize resources where they are most needed to foster sustainable agricultural development and meet the nation’s food needs.

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