With the Christmas season comes the demand for ham and turkey. While some do support the local economy when purchasing these produce, there are those who rather theirs to be imported. Today, in speaking with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Immigration, Godwin Hulse, we asked him about the issuance of importation permits and restrictions. Minister Hulse stated that permits were issued before he undertook the ministry but for the coming year he plans to place a restriction on the amount of importation and give priority to local production.
“Before I took the Ministry permits were already issued for hams to various operators who annually and traditionally get permits to bring in certain amounts of ham. What I understand the Ministry did was to balance that along with the domestic production so that the domestic production is not disenfranchised, that was done just before I took the Ministry. Turkeys are straightforward there are only two people and they have agreed that some permits could be issued for one to bring in turkeys. I want to signal from now that next year, sometime around July we are going to do a thorough census of what we have locally because the push of this ministry is to promote local production which saves foreign exchange and ultimately earns foreign exchange and create jobs and that. So my personal personal push is production, production first and then we will import to supplement any shortfalls that exist. I understand there are several producers and in July we will be doing it so that well before next year Christmas we should have that data in hand.”
Minister Hulse stated that by next year in July, the Ministry should have exact information on local production of hams and turkeys to know what restrictions will be placed on importations.