The value of animal feed is ready to go up by as much as 21 per cent from next Monday, with the island’s lead manufacturer of poultry and livestock feed saying it could possibly now not keep on with its agreement to carry off increases until next January.
The rise was reportedly communicated to the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) by Pinnacle Feeds which stated that the value compact that the private sector signed with the federal government in July this 12 months has had a big impact on the corporate’s financial performance and it was unimaginable to delay the hike.
The value increases will range from six to 21 per cent.
Under the compact, the feed supplier had committed to not increasing animal feed prices for the subsequent six months, unless a unprecedented event occurred.
Nonetheless, in correspondence to the BAS, it said it had no alternative but to interrupt from the compact right now, given its massive reduction in profits and capital.
The corporate said breaking the agreement “will enable the corporate to partially offset the erosion of capital because the price compact took effect”.
Efforts to get a comment from Pinnacle Feeds were unsuccessful but the corporate is scheduled to have a gathering with farmers and other stakeholders on Friday to debate the pending increase.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BAS James Paul told Barbados TODAY the announced increase comes as no surprise to the association which has been monitoring the sector closely through the course of the 12 months, given the high costs of fuel, electricity, and other raw materials farmers faced.
But he said the farmers weren’t able to soak up any more price hikes which directly affected their business.
“It’s a difficult environment through which costs are literally going up… It’s a difficult situation. I believe that, in a way, farmers clearly cannot absorb that increase, they’ll should pass it on to consumers. But the reality is absolutely that the farming sector as a complete is [finding it] very difficult due to the fee increases that we’re seeing,” Paul said.
“Should you are serious about food security, what subsequently are we to do to attempt to be sure that we will keep our costs all the way down to the person operating within the sector?”
Paul stressed that the increased cost to the patron was not the one concern because the situation could also affect employment within the sector.
“If the costs for which we produce our products cannot feed the people within the industry, it means that folks will lose jobs . . . so that is greater than just that the value goes up, it’s that the entire sector has a challenge that should be handled, and it’s an issue really [of] what are the policies that we’re going to put in place to attempt to be sure that we will proceed to maintain our costs down,” the BAS boss said.