Chicken shortage has its genesis in smuggling from Suriname – producers

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The current countrywide chicken shortage is most likely triggered by the clampdown on the smuggling of the animal, according to the Guyana Poultry Producers Association (GPPA).

Guyana has been experiencing a shortage of the meat bird, which has already resulted in popular fast-food restaurants being affected, limiting their meal options.

In a press release, the Association explained that the current shortage has its genesis in the smuggling of the animals from Suriname which started in large quantities in 2018.

Suriname, at that time, only had a 5% duty on imported chicken and as a result, large quantities of American and Brazilian chicken was then smuggled to Guyana, the Association explained.

“This contributed to a surplus of chicken in Guyana because the local poultry farmers could not estimate the amount of smuggled chicken entering the country and continued producing as per norm,” GPPA outlined.

This surplus of chicken, according to the Association, lasted from the end of May 2018 to March 2019.

In June 2019, the Suriname authorities increased their duty on imported chicken from 5% to 40% which negatively affected the “smuggled chicken business”.

“The Enforcement Department of the GRA also stepped up their campaign against the smuggled chicken and it appeared that their efforts resulted in large seizures of chicken brought illegally from across the border,” GPPA said.

In March 2019, the poultry farmers were found to have excess chicken in their pens that were between 12 and 15 weeks old (when the normal grow out period was six weeks).

The delayed time for this excess chicken to be sold resulted in long delays before farmers could start a new crop of chicks, the Association said, explaining that new crops would require the pens to be empty.

Presently, hatching egg imports have increased and local farmers have placed adequate supplies of chicken on their farms that will reach processing age in about two weeks.

This is expected to bring an end to the current chicken shortage.