NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 28, 2023)- The establishment of a broiler industry on Nevis to provide locally produced chicken meat will redound to the financial benefit of the island’s poultry farmers.
The Ministry of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on June 27 broke ground to signal the commencement of the construction phase of a poultry processing plant at the Prospect Industrial Site.
During a ceremony to mark the milestone achievement, Minister of Agriculture on Nevis, Deputy Premier Hon. Eric Evelyn said by establishing a broiler industry on the island the government is creating opportunities for persons to reap the financial rewards of engaging in the rearing of chickens for meat.
“This groundbreaking demonstrates that we here in Nevis are serious about growing more of what we eat and eating more of what we grow…We are also serious with the fact that we want small businesses to grow and thrive. When we construct this broiler facility our main collaborators and partners will be our farmers. Our farmers are the ones who will be producing the chicken, so the farmers are the ones who most of the money will trickle down to.”
The Ministry of Agriculture has identified 60 acres of land at Webbs Estate in St. Georges that will be made available for the purpose of poultry farming.
With a local poultry processing plant to supply chicken meat in the Federation, Hon. Evelyn pointed out that this initiative has the potential to redirect millions of dollars being spent to import chicken, into the hands of local stakeholders thereby expanding the Nevis economy. This is also in keeping with St. Kitts and Nevis’ thrust to achieve the CARICOM “25 by 2025” initiative where CARICOM Heads of Government committed to reducing the region’s food import bill by 25 percent by 2025.
The architectural and engineering designs for the facility were done by Mr. Steadroy Pemberton and Mr. Don Dyer of the Public Works Department Project Management Unit. At Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony, Mr. Pemberton provided some of the details of the project.
“The building is 6752 square feet of building that sits on 24,287 square feet of land. The building will have two main sections- poultry processing section and the administrative staff section. The poultry processing section is where the birds will be slaughtered, processed and packaged for sale. This section will include three main machines, namely the plug and play processing line, the spin chiller, and the cut up machine. This area also has accommodation for a chill storage to set the chicken at a specific temperature,” he said.
Mr. Clive Browne is the contractor for the project and will be responsible for implementing the plant structure and installing all machinery.
The Department of Agriculture aims to have the first phase of the building and equipment installed in approximately four months. The NIA has so far invested US $286,800 in equipment for the plant, which is presently being stored at the Sea Port Facility at Long Point. When completed the facility will have the capacity to process 800 birds per hour.