The Jamaica Broilers Group, JBG, is projecting a 70 per cent spike in the production of broiler chicks after pouring $200 million into expansion of a hatchery in Cumberland, St Catherine.

A sizeable portion of the investment paid for equipment and technology to get the hatchery operating more efficiently. The hatchery itself was expanded from 25,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet.

President and CEO of Jamaica Broilers Group Christopher Levy said plans for the expansion began over a year ago and was targeted at ensuring a steady supply of baby chicks to small farmers, particularly during high-demand seasons, such as November and December.

“Small farmers are often seasonal in their supplies because they are in and out of business, and so what the country gets is peaks and troughs. With the increase in production, we will certainly be able to create some consistency in the market,” Levy said, following a tour of the expanded facility on Wednesday.

Jamaica Broilers last invested in the upgrade of the Cumberland hatchery in 2016, then spending $14 million on its rehabilitation. The hatchery was previously operated by the Jamaica Livestock Association.