EIGHT POULTRY farmers from North Windward are receiving rehabilitation assistance from the Rotary Club of St Vincent South in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, and the East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC).
In a release, ECGC said these farmers lost over EC$500,000 in chicks, adult birds, and pens after being severely impacted by the eruptions of La Soufriere in 2021.
President of the Rotary Club of St Vincent South, Kurt Dougan, said they stepped into action immediately after the eruptions and through disaster relief funding donations, have been assisting people in North Windward and North Leeward. Dougan said after their assessment, the Rotary Club of St Vincent South with guidance from the Ministry of Agriculture, identified poultry farmers who were severely impacted by ash fall, particularly in the North Windward red zone. Consequently, Rotarians and ministry officials visited eight poultry farms, some of whose infrastructure and chicks were destroyed, while others had sustained extensive damage.
To support farmers in resuming and sustaining their operations, the Rotary Club of St Vincent South, through its disaster relief funding by the Rotary District, purchased approximately $75,000 in materials including lumber and wire which were distributed to these farmers. Additionally, each farmer was allocated between two hundred and eight hundred chicks based on pen capacity.
A total of 4,100 chicks were given to farmers of which fifty percent have already been distributed.
The club said in its release that the other half will be distributed in the next few months all at the expense of Rotary.
Rotary said in partnership with ECGC it is also committed to providing up to six months supply of feeds based on broiler and layer requirements. Approximately 2,050 bags of feed are required for the duration of the project.
Veterinarian and technical product manager at ECGC, Dr Tahomma Richards expressed delight at being able to partner with the Rotary Club of St. Vincent South to assist poultry farmers noting that ECGC cares about farmers and has invested in them.
She also said that in addition to the company’s supporting with feeds, she is committed to providing animal nutrition and farm management support to the farmers.
Over the next few months, the veterinarian will visit the and collaborate with farmers to meet their production targets.
To date, Rotary’s donation stands at over $160,000 for pens, labour, chicks, and feed. The club said it will continue to work closely with the poultry industry and other stakeholders, to ensure the successful rehabilitation of the poultry industry in the North Windward area as they stay true to their theme ‘Service above Self’.