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The Livestock Research and Improvement Project, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, has been allocated some $19 million in the 2007/08 Estimates of Expenditure, which was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday (March 29).
The project, which is concerned with research activities focusing on improving the quality of livestock and animal products, comprises seven sub-projects.
Of the total, some $2.161 million has been set-aside for Feed Research and Evaluation for Livestock. These activities are carried out at the Bodles and Montpelier research stations, and include forage development, evaluation, rehabilitation, and animal nutrition studies.
Research and Evaluation of Breeding Systems for Dairy and Meat Animals will receive $6.950 million and this sum is expected to improve the productivity performance of the native breeds of cattles as well as pigs, sheep and goats. This includes genetic evaluations, the provision of sire services and the establishment of a herd-recording programme.
In the meantime, Research and Evaluation of Husbandry Systems for Livestock will receive $1.05 million. These activities will be mainly carried out at the Bodles Montpelier research stations, with the aim of developing cost effective feeding systems for the management of livestock.
The Sheep and Goat Development project will also benefit from $1.516 million to maintain the purebred Anglo Nubian, Boer and native nucleus herds, as well as the development of husbandry systems for optimizing forage use. The project is based at Bodles and Hounslow.
In addition, the Meat Goat Commercialization project is slated to receive $890,000 to facilitate the expansion and development of farmers breeding herds through the development of a national system of revolving does, and the provision of buck services to farmers.
The Pig Commercialization project is set to receive some $1.222 million to: maintain a nucleus (multiplier) pig herd for the generation of seed stock for sale to commercial pig farmers islandwide; provide slaughter stock for the fresh pork market; demonstrate best husbandry and breeding practices for commercial pig production; and evaluate productivity of breeding animals and efficiency in the slaughter of pigs.
Meanwhile, the Cattle Rescue programme will receive $5.211 million to conserve, consolidate and expand the national beef cattle gene pool of the three Jamaican breeds; estimate genetic and phenotypic values for productive traits of economic value through the performance test programme; provide a source of improved livestock genetics to the farming community; and provide sires for the production of semen.