Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir this evening served notice that there will be no ban or reduction of chicken wings imports.
He made the declaration while delivering his report card on his ministry’s performance as the ruling Barbados Labour Party hold a massive rally to commemorate its first anniversary in office since May 24 general election.
Weir told the crowd at Carlisle Car Park that the issue was not merely about chicken wings, pointing out that several Barbadians were engaged in selling and buying the product to earn a living.
“I cannot ban the importation of chicken wings, neither can I speak to the reduction of the importation of chicken wings until somebody is willing to come forward and fill the void. And as a responsible human being I understand that Barbadians must find a way to participate in and be part of the economic structure of this country.
“I refuse to pursue any conversation where I am going to stop, reduce, ban chicken wings from coming into Barbados unless you can give me the alternative,” he declared to loud support from the crowd.
Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agriculture Society James Paul has persistently called on the Government to ban the importation of wings, claiming that the local chicken farmers are losing much needed business.
But Minister Weir issued a message to Paul: “I want James Paul to know that when he is … making his noise about chicken wings, you have got to understand the poor people. You claim to be part of a party that said that it stood for poor people and now you want to ask me to come and tell Barbadians they can no longer sell chicken wings. I can’t do it unless there is an alternative.
“My conversation will not change in this country if I cannot see the numbers to justify the action. Go away, get the information and present me with it,” he said.