Government’s efforts to attain self-sufficiency in meat consumption have been boosted, through a $69.5 million allocation to the Diversification of the Caribbean Livestock through the Production of Small Ruminants project.
This is contained in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project, being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to increase the availability of quality breeding stock at affordable prices; transfer/disseminate technology in the use of improved feed and feeding systems; and increase the production of small ruminant meat and ancillary products.
Up to February 2013, residential training quarters and farm offices were refurbished, while improvements commenced on animal housing facilities.
In addition, the Forage Research and Production Programme was expanded, and five rams and three bucks were procured.
Targets for this year include: selection and procurement of breeding animals; training of trainers and livestock producers; establishment and maintenance of improved management system for feeding, housing and animal husbandry; refurbishing/upgrading of existing abattoir facilities; and demonstration/training in meat processing and by-product refinement.
The project is being implemented with financial support from the Common Fund for Commodities.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter