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  • An allocation of $30.6 million has been made in the 2014/15 budget, to upgrade several of the island’s abattoirs.
  • The project’s goal is to contribute to achieving self-sufficiency in regional meat consumption.
  • The project began in April 2012 and was to have ended in February this year, but has been extended to December 2015.

An allocation of $30.6 million has been made in the 2014/15 budget, to upgrade several of the island’s abattoirs, under the Diversification of the Caribbean Livestock through the Production of Small Ruminants project.

The project’s goal is to contribute to achieving self-sufficiency in regional meat consumption, initially through the development of the small ruminant industry; 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 meat and ancillary products from small ruminants.

In addition to the refurbishment of abattoirs, other anticipated targets for this fiscal year include: the selection and procurement of breeding animals and embryos; training of trainers and livestock producers; the establishment and maintenance of improved management system for feeding, housing and animal husbandry; and demonstration/training in meat processing and by-product refinement.

The project began in April 2012 and was to have ended in February this year, but has been extended to December 2015. It is being undertaken in four components – breed improvement and dissemination; technology transfer and capacity building; small ruminant production; and marketing and processing.

To date, there have been a number of achievements including: the procurement of 58 animals: 50 ewes, five rams and three bucks; completion of the refurbishment of lecture and student quarters and farm office; training for 15 trainers; expansion of the Forage Research and Production Programme; procurement of tractor, forage harvester and brush cutter; and completion of repairs to the animals’ housing.

The Diversification of the Caribbean Livestock through the Production of Small Ruminants project is being funded jointly by the Government ($20 million) and the Caribbean Development Bank’s Common Fund for Commodities, under a grant of $10.628 million. It is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.