The Jamaican government is helping to support a drive to increase production to 160 million eggs this year.
This news was welcomed this week by the President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant. He also praised producers for achieving the milestone output of 100 million eggs last year, which marked five years since the country last needed to import eggs. On average, Jamaicans consume just one egg per week.
Speaking at an event to promote egg consumption in Jamaica, Grant stressed the contribution the industry can make to drive economic growth, create jobs, rebalance the economy and improve the quality of life for rural people.
Also attending was the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, who was introduced to the campaign to encourage egg uptake set up by the Jamaica Egg Farmers’ Association (JEFA) and its partners, the Hi-Pro Division of the Jamaica Broilers Group and the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
JEFA president, Roy Baker, said that the sector had benefited from contact with egg industries in other countries, including Canada, in areas such as egg quality and marketing systems.
Commending JEFA’s campaign, the Minister urged the industry to prioritize consistency in price and quality.
Samuda urged JEFA to extend the training it provides beyond the country’s 600 large-scale egg farmers also to smaller producers, and suggested the sector explores new markets at home, such as tourism, and in the region.
The statistics section of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, FAOstat, puts egg production in Jamaica at 9,460 metric tons in 2013, the most recent year for which figures have been published. Output over the previous decade appears to have been highly volatile.
Egg processing set to resume in Jamaica shortly
National egg consumption in Jamaica is expected to receive a boost when production of a range of products resumes at Liquid Eggs Limited.
Owned by JEFA and Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited, the company collapsed in 2014 following a prolonged shortage of table eggs, according to Jamaica Gleaner, but production is scheduled to resume in September.
“What we are trying to do is to supply the food service - hotels, bakeries and other food-service entities - with the convenience of shell-less eggs, pasteurized for health and sold in equivalent case amount,” one of the partners in the new business, Damion Crawford said. “We now control the entire product process, so we negotiate prices with the farmers and do our own distribution, but we have also come up with some new types of products; the last one only had one type of product. We will now have a full line of five products and, of course, the market has increased because more international properties have come into the island as well, which are exposed to that type of product.”
From its new facility in the Corporate Area of Kingston, Liquid Eggs will manufacture a range of products, including a scrambled eggs mix, egg whites and sugared yolks, the latter aimed at the bakery sector.
Usain Bolt a regular consumer of Jamaican eggs
Double world record holder, multiple Olympic gold medal winner and global sprinting superstar, Usain Bolt of Jamaica usually starts his day with an egg sandwich, according to Foods4BetterHealth. Bolt is currently representing Jamaica in the Olympic Games, competing in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash and as a member of the country’s 4X100 meter relay team.