Poultry farmers lament challenges

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Poultry farmers in Antigua are struggling to collect their monies from distributors despite delivering eggs quickly. Yesterday, Marvin Joseph, public relations officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Poultry Farmers Association highlighted some of the challenges the 50 farmers face.

“The supermarkets need to understand that this is the bread and butter of the farmers, payment is an issue. Delivery is swift, payment is slow in many cases. There are many cases where the suppliers pay on time and there are some you have to wait three months to six months for payment for eggs,” Joseph said.

He noted that excuses range from misplaced invoices to incomplete cheques and payment or part-payment is only forthcoming when delivery of the commodity ceases. “The problem that I have is that when they place the order overseas I don’t think they can wait six months to pay the suppliers for eggs, but, the local farmers are not treated with that regard on most occasions,” he added.

The P.R.O said egg farmers in Antigua and Barbuda said they continue to battle with importers who are crippling their business. Joseph said although the country is being self-sufficient with eggs, businesses are still being allowed to import the commodity.

“You have those peak periods coming up close to Christmas, where you have a little fall off from time to time, and any situation where you have farmers changing out the cycle of birds, but, it is not as if we are unable to meet the demands that are there, but for some reason some of the supermarkets feel that they should import eggs,” he lamented.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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