JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has been visiting several farms in Canada, to explore the possibility of using a Canadian model to set up more goat farms in Jamaica, with the aim of reducing the country’s dependence on imported goat meat.
On Monday, August 9, the Minister and his delegation toured several Canadian farms in Ontario and Quebec to get a first-hand look at what could be replicated in Jamaica.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr.
Christopher Tufton (left), examines a baby goat being held by nine-year-old Luke Oude Egberink, when the Minister and his delegation visited Egberink Goat Farms in Ontario, Canada, recently.

The group visited Egberink Farms, a 500-head goat dairy farm owned by John and Noemi Oude Egberink; Henri Patenaude’s goat farm; and the Gillette Dairy Farm owned by the Patenaude family with approximately 1,200 heads of cow. The farm visits were facilitated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAC) and the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA).
On Henri Patenaude’s goat farm, his Boer goats are reared strictly for their meat, while on the Egberink Farms, about 300 goats are milked twice per day, and the milk goes to a dairy goat co-operative.
Mr. Oude Egberink told JIS News that he switched from cows to goats in 2007, as he and wife Noemi find goat rearing more profitable.
Dr. Tufton was clearly impressed with the operations, noting that Egberink Farms was a clear demonstration of how farmers can work together and form co-operatives, engaging in best practice technology.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton checking out some of the largest producing milk cows on the Gillette Dairy Farm in Ontario, Canada, during a tour, recently.

“We would like to replicate something like this in Jamaica, but on the scale that suits our market,” said the Minister.
“We have seen a private/public match to strategically sustain the dairy sector and also see why there is a need for strong professional producer organizations,” he added.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr.
Christopher Tufton (left), and Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr. Marc Panton (right), examining some goats belonging to goat farmer, Henri Patenaude, at his goat farm in Ontario, Canada.

On a visit to the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), Chief of Communications Services, Chantal Paul, said the 43-year-old agency regulates the Canadian dairy sector, setting prices and quota for milk and milk production.
Giving an overview of the Canadian dairy sector, Market Development Officer for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lucille McFadden, said dairy production in Canada in 2009 generated total net farm receipts of C$5.5 billion.
Dr. Tufton is on an official visit to Canada until today (August 11), meeting with various Canadian officials in the agricultural sector.
Accompanying the Minister were High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry; Chief Technical Director, Dr. Marc Panton; and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology in Agriculture (CEATA), Dr. Derrick Deslandes.

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