THE ALMOST $200-million expansion of Best Dressed Chicken’s Cumberland Hatchery in Portmore is being hailed by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr as a major boost for the agriculture sector.

The expansion increases the hatchery’s capacity by 70 per cent, allowing the company to better meet the demands of the local market and, particularly, small poultry farmers, by ensuring a steady supply of baby chicks.

Among the upgrades to the facility are the addition of four new setters and two new hatchers as well as improvements to the general infrastructure.

The facility, which provides for the hatching of eggs in a safe, controlled environment, now features improved temperature control, ventilation, and air-flow management, in keeping with the requirements of a modern hatchery operation, while helping to preserve biosecurity.

Speaking at the reopening ceremony on May 10, Charles Jr said the Jamaica Broilers Group, which is the parent organisation of Best Dressed Chicken, continues to be a “primary strategic partner” with a “long and rich history” of assisting small farmers across Jamaica.