Chicken back importation licence policy revamped

MINISTER of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke says the policy for the allocation of chicken back importation licences has been revamped.

The minister, who was closing the 2021/22 budget debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said the measure is part of new policy proposals brought to Cabinet by Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Floyd Green, which will be implemented on April 1.

“The expectation is that we will see improvements in chicken back pricing. The Government, at this same time, has to strike a balance between importation and local production and has to ensure that the small, backyard chicken farmers are able to sell to the market. So during periods of high local supply, we have to balance imports,” he noted.

“The new policy for April 1 will bring normalcy and stability to the supply and demand while ensuring that the small backyard farmers won’t be left out,” he said.

Last year the Integrity Commission recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries discontinue, with immediate effect, the current discriminatory process utilised to issue permits to applicants on the basis of prior importation history.

The commission also recommended that the ministry develop a formal policy that will ensure transparency and accountability in the receipt and processing of applications, as well as merit and integrity in the issuance of permits/licences for the importation of all animal products.

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