Goat Farmers Attend Training Sessions


Training sessions for goat farmers were held at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Conference Room in Mandeville, Manchester, and at the Sam Motta Demonstration Training Centre, in Knockpatrick, Manchester, on March 17.
The training was carried out under the Strengthening of Jamaica’s Food Security Programme, funded by the European Union, through its Food Facility Project, and conducted by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, through RADA, and the Jamaica Goat Farmers Association. The project is implemented in Jamaica by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The main objective of the project is to increase production by assisting farmers in the areas of crop and livestock production.
Assistant FAO Representative in Jamaica, Dr. Jillian Smith, urged the farmers to make the most of the training sessions. “We are aware that the goat farmers in Jamaica have a wealth of knowledge already and what we aim to do is build on that. It’s been a long process to get this project going. This is the first in 20 years that livestock farming has received this kind of funding and this kind of attention,” she said.
Manager for RADA in Manchester, Mr. Donald Robinson, also urged the farmers to learn as much as possible, to assist in the drive to increase the livestock population.
He said that the 2009 production figures for livestock production in Manchester showed marginal increases, especially in broiler and goat categories, and that Members of Parliament were encouraged to channel funds from the Constituency Development Fund into livestock production, especially in the area of goat production. Honorary Secretary of the Jamaica Goat Farmers Association, Mr. Derrick Vermont, said that it was the first time in the 13-year history of the group that such assistance was being provided, and that the members would ensure that production is increased.
The farmers were sensitised about areas, such as small ruminant production; the international sheep and goat trade and its implications for Jamaican farmers and consumers. They also received practical demonstrations on animal husbandry.

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