Jamaica’s pig farmers are struggling to find markets for their meat, with spiralling costs and a glut of pork on the market, local news reports.
The Jamaica Pig Farmers Association is calling upon the government to install a ban on imported pig meat; a ban they believe would help their produce reach the local market.
The Government has responded with Agriculture minister Roger Clarke appealing Jamaicans to consume more pork to save the farmers.
The Jamaican government is under pressure from pork importers as other producers, mainly from the USA, are seeking ways to sell their own surplus.
Clarke declared that the Jamaican government was not prepared to allow global trade regulations to destroy the local pig industry, as happened in the mid-90s when Jamaicans opted for cheap milk powder imports at the expense of the local dairy sector.
“If we are to deal with Jamaica’s food security, we have to do some unusual things,” said Clarke as he encouraged Jamaicans to support the country’s pig farmers.
Clarke highlighted the need for members of the local scientific community to conduct more research into the use of indigenous materials, such as cassava, in the production of animal feeds. He urged farmers to look into producing their own corn, given the feed’s increasing price.