The egg production in Cuba down 50% due to the lack of feed and financing to obtain the raw materials to be used in its production, the authorities admitted.
In an interview on the official portal Cuban debate, Jorge Luis Parapar Lópezpresident of the Food and Poultry Business Group (Gealav), said that “chicken production at this time in Cuba is at 50 percent of capacity, in the number of animals and in production.”
Although the manager did not offer the total number of eggs produced – or chicken meat – during the period of 2023, he provided data that implies the debace in which this sector finds itselfin the middle of general crisis that the country is going through.
According to Parapar, 99% of the raw materials used to make feed (also intended for pig production) are imported, such as corn and soybeans. With this, Between 900 and 1,000 tons of feed are produced daily to feed the birds.
However, 1,500 to 1,600 t are needed per day if they have all the animals brought by the national chicken program.
These amounts, the manager said, are enough to “meet the demand and have 10 or 15 eggs per month per consumer as before”.
the distribution of eggs through the basic basket in Cuba has gone down to five eggs per person per monthbut the government did not even reach that amount in most provinces.
Parapar blamed the United States government’s embargo on Cuba’s limitations on access to raw materials needed to make feed.
The Cubadebate report states that “the ‘blockade’ also limits the entry into the country of ships with raw materials, and some that come through the port of Havana. Then, you have to move them across the country , and that means more expenditure of resources.”
“We are working in the midst of that tense situation,” the official said.
With this argument, it is also reasonable that egg production is not profitable. “The cost of egg production is between 5.60 and 6 pesos and it is sold to the population at 2.08, a difference that causes millions of dollars in losses for the company,” he stated.
The director of Gealav revealed another piece of information that shows the critical situation of this sector in Cuba: Last Saturday, in some fields they gave the animals the last food they had.
He alleged that in poultry farming, three or four days of coverage must be worked to ensure that the chickens have the necessary food. “A hen eats between 107 and 110 grams depending on the age and the percentage of laying. That is under control, you have to do the calculations, weigh the feed. Today the country’s farms work with a day of coverage, and some gave today (last Saturday) the last food they ate,” he said.
Also, because of fuel crisisIt is recognized that the feed takes time to reach the fields, which causes instability because “the chicken is a very sensitive animal, which is easily stressed and then the expected productive results are not obtained. ”
In the first week of August there a critical situation of food and production fell from 2,400,000 to 200,000 eggs per day.
In May and June, technological problems in factories of egg cartons in Havana and Jatibonico also affected chicken production. In the middle of the productive peak, Parapar pointed out, “”They lost thousands of eggs because they didn’t have trays.”
He reported that in the last quarter of 2022 and the first two months of 2023, no vaccinations were made in the country because the government could not import the necessary vaccines, which “represents a year and half that does not guarantee replacement. “of birds. .
“More than 50 percent of chickens in Cuba are now in the second forced molt, that is, in the second productive cycle. and some even in the third, if the ideal is only one,” said Parapar. Due to aging, hens do not achieve the expected performance and lay fewer eggs, even though they eat the same amount of food as always.
According to the manager, the chicken company plans to end the year with almost 200,000 chickens replacing the existing 500,000, and intends to replace the rest of those in the second production cycle, in the first half of 2024.