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 East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC). These farmers lost over EC$500,000 in chicks, adult poultry, and pens after being severely impacted by the volcanic eruptions of La Soufriere in 2021.
President of the Rotary Club of St. Vincent South, Mr. Kurt Dougan, said that they stepped into action immediately after the eruptions and through disaster relief funding donations, have been assisting people in North Windward and North Leeward. Mr. 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 zones. Consequently, Rotarians and Ministry officials visited eight poultry farms some of whose infrastructure and chicks were destroyed, while others had extensive damages.
To support farmers in resuming and sustaining their operations, Rotary Club of St. Vincent South, through its disaster relief funding by the Rotary District, purchased approximately seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) in materials including lumber and wire and distributed to these farmers. Additionally, each were allocated between two hundred and eight hundred chicks based on pen capacity. A total of forty-one hundred (4,100) chicks were allocated to farmers. To date, half were recently distributed, and the remainder will be distributed in the next couple of months, all at the expense of Rotary.
Rotary Club of St. Vincent South, in partnership with the East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC), is also committed to providing up to six months’ supply of feeds based on broiler and layer requirements. Approximately two thousand and fifty (2050) bags of feed are required for the duration of the project.
Dr. Tahomma Richards, Veterinarian and Technical Product Manager at ECGC, expressed her delight in being able to partner with the Rotary Club of St. Vincent South to assist poultry farmers. She highlighted that ECGC cares about farmers and is invested in them. Dr. Richards
expressed that in addition to ECGC supporting with feeds, she is committed to providing Animal Nutrition and Farm Management support to the farmers. Over the next few months, she will visit the farmers and will collaborate with them to meet their production targets.
To date, Rotary’s donation is over $160,000 for pens, labour, chicks, and feed. Rotary will continue to work closely with the poultry industry and other stakeholders, to ensure successful rehabilitation of the poultry industry in the North Windward area. As always, Rotary endeavours to support where help is most needed in our communities and continues to deliver as per their theme ‘Service above Self’.