Government announces new measure as chicken price soar

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr (Photo credit: Twitter (@Pcharlesjr))

The price of chicken from Jamaica’s two major poultry producers, the Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) and the Caribbean Broilers (CB) have increased significantly since the start of 2022.

A six to eight per cent increase on CB chicken took effect on 7 February due to disruptions in the production and distribution of its products and the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar. This increase comes after a 10 per cent increase in chicken prices from The Jamaica Broilers Group which took effect at the end of January.

The last chicken price increase from Caribbean Broilers (CB) took effect on 10 September 2021 when prices went up by five per cent. In a statement released by CB, it was revealed that the increase was due to rising input and shipping costs caused by COVID-19. Prices also increased in 2020 by five to eight per cent. This means that every year since the start of pandemic, CB chicken prices have increased.

To assist with the blow that consumers will face with these increases, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearnel Charles Jr announced that the government will be considering the temporary importation of leg quarters. “In order to provide Jamaican consumers with an affordable alternative source of protein, one of the options being considered is the temporary suspension of the CET (common external tariff) and additional stamp duties levied on leg quarters,” Charles Jr said. He revealed that the current price of local chicken legs is $360 per pound. Imported chicken legs would see customers paying around $160 per pound, he said. He stressed that the importation of chicken legs is temporary until the supply and demand level in the local poultry market returns to normal.

The announcement was made in the House of Representatives on 25 January. Charles noted that the price of chicken has increased by 17 per cent within the past year with prices moving from an average $530 per kg to almost $630 per kg. 

Local poultry farmers will receive $50 million through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) for relief with challenges they have been facing.

According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, the changes in the general level of prices of consumer goods and services between December 2020 and December 2021 was 7.3 per cent. 


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