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Work in the area of Livestock Research and Improvement will continue in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land with a $21 million allocation, which has been set out in the 2006/07 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project, which is concerned with research activities focusing on improving the quality of livestock and animal products, comprises nine sub-projects, and the allocation for this fiscal year will see feeds research and evaluation for livestock receiving $1.803 million. These activities are carried out at the Bodles and Montpelier research stations, and include forage development, evaluation, rehabilitation and animal nutritional studies.
Research and evaluation of husbandry systems will receive $1.515 million. These activities are also carried out at Bodles and Montpelier and aims to develop cost-effective feeding systems for the management of livestock. In addition, the sheep and goat project has been allotted $2.017 million to maintain the purebred Anglo Nubian, Boer and native nucleus herds, as well as the development of husbandry systems for optimizing forage use. This project is carried out at Bodles and Hounslow in St. Elizabeth.
The Research and Evaluation of Breeding Systems for Dairy and Meat Animals programme will benefit from the lion’s share of the allocation with $7.671 million, to improve the productive performance of the native breeds of cattle, pigs, sheep and goat. This include genetic evaluations, the provision of sire services and the establishment of a herd recording programme.
In the meantime, $1.440 million will go toward the Goat Commercialization Project to continue 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.
The Pig Industry Commercialization sub-project will receive $2.345 million to: maintain a nucleus 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.
The Cattle Seed Stock Development project will receive $1.741million to fund its objectives, which are 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.
Also, the Amity Hall Hay Project will receive $710,000 to facilitate the utilization of local ingredients for production of supplemental or conserved livestock food systems. The plan is for 50 acres of zero-grazed pastures to be established and 17,500 bales of hay maintained.
The Management of Agricultural Assets, Wallens Dairy sub-project, is to benefit from $1.758 million to facilitate the operation of a commercial dairy farm, while serving as a demonstration centre for the farming community. It will also provide a source of breeding stock for small farmers and create market accessibility for fluid milk from small dairy farmers.