$33.2 Million Allocated to Animal Breeding and Husbandry Project


The Ministry of Agriculture’s Animal Breeding and Husbandry Project has been allocated $33.2 million in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure.
This project focuses on research activities aimed at improving the quality of livestock and animal products, and comprises seven sub-projects – Feeds Research and Evaluation for Livestock; Research and Evaluation of Breeding Systems for Dairy and Meat Animals; Research and Evaluation of Husbandry Systems for Livestock; Sheep and Goat Development; Meat Goat Commercialization; Pig Commercialization, and Cattle Rescue.
Feeds Research and Evaluation for Livestock, for which just over $4 million has been allocated, is being carried out at the Bodles and Montpelier research stations in St. Catherine and St. James, respectively, and entails forage development, evaluation, rehabilitation and animal nutrition.
A sum of $8.4 million has been set aside for the Research and Evaluation of Breeding Systems for Dairy and Meat Animals, which aims to improve the productive potential of food animals (beef and dairy cattle), through breed characteristics selection and manipulation of the environment. It is also aimed at upgrading and maintaining a records management system for the compilation and retrieval of animal genealogy and records of performance and the management of sire service schemes.
The Research and Evaluation of Husbandry Systems for Livestock project, which gets $4.2 million, is intended to develop cost-effective feeding systems for the management of livestock, to be undertaken mainly through activities carried out at the Bodles and Montpelier research stations.
The Sheep and Goat Development Project, which receives just over $3 million, is aimed at maintaining the purebred Anglo Nubian, Boer, and native nucleus herds, as well as the development of husbandry systems for optimizing forage use, and is being undertaken at Bodles, and the Hounslow research station in St. Elizabeth.
Just over $2 million has been earmarked for the Meat Goat Commercialization Project, and will 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 has received $4.4 million, and seeks 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.
The core objectives of the Cattle Rescue Programme, for which $6.7 million has been set aside, are: conserving, consolidating and expanding the national beef cattle gene pool of three Jamaica breeds; estimating genetic and phenotypic values for productive traits of economic value through the performance test programme; providing a source of improved livestock genetics to the farming community, and providing sires for the production of semen.

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