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New Head of Caribbean Poultry Association

by 5m Editor
28 April 2009, at 8:28am

BARBADOS - The new executive director of the Caribbean Poultry Association is Dr Desmond Ali.

Barbados Advocate reports that there is a new executive director of the Caribbean Poultry Association, who promises to bring renewed focus on standards, trade and competitiveness in the poultry industry in the region.

His name is Dr Desmond Ali of Trinidad and Tobago, and he is a trained microbiologist, who has previously served as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in Trinidad, and as Science Advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, England.

Yesterday, Dr Ali spoke to the media on the need to focus on standards and training for this important industry, which he explained is particularly significant to regional economies. He was joined by CPA president, Peter DeFreitas, and CPA Corporate Secretary, Robin Phillips, at the Barbados Agricultural Society's (BAS) Grotto headquarters.

According to Dr Ali, "The poultry industry at the moment represents the largest agro-industrial enterprise in the Caribbean, bringing in approximately US$500 million in the region, employing close to 100,000 people and supplying 80 per cent of the meat protein requirements of Caribbean people."

He stated that the CPA will continue to act as a means of communication between the stakeholders and governments to further the interests of the industry. The new head alluded to a regional workshop to be held in Barbados in June, which will bring together approximately 50 egg and poultry farmers and other stakeholders to discuss ways that the industry can be improved. A number of experts will be in attendance to demonstrate new techniques that will ensure the farmers have a competitive edge in the global market.

Executive Director of the BAS, James Paul, also highlighted the importance of the workshop in light of current and emerging diseases.

"Unless you have good biosecurity measures on the farms themselves, you can actually compromise egg production, so what we do is from time to time bring in experts from as far away as Europe to provide local farmers with training and show them how to adopt bio security measures."

"There is the whole question of standards and how to enforce them, and we also look at the marketing to try to ensure that the consumers themselves will be able to benefit from the best that farmers have to offer. One of the other things that we are always pushing is poultry production and egg production, because when you look at egg consumption itself in the region, we are not where we want to be, we want to increase the number of eggs that consumers actually use," Mr Paul stated.

The CPA was set up in 1999 and represents 20 members in ten CARICOM countries, according to Barbados Advocate.