JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is developing a Heifer Rescue Programme to prevent the slaughter of heifers and as such, increase the stock of animals available to the beef industry.
Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Roger Clarke, who made the announcement at the annual Minnard Livestock and Beef Festival in St. Ann recently, said that farmers could not continue to slaughter good heifers.
The Ministry, he promised, would find a way to hold on to some of these animals. “We have quality animals, and we are going to put them somewhere. We are going to multiply [them] and then [turn] them back over to farmers,” he said, noting that two farms, have already been identified in St. Elizabeth and at Minnard in St. Ann.
Meanwhile, he pointed to the need for greater focus on pasture development, and for the production of indigenous animal feed, noting that with the current high cost of feed, the country would not be able to compete globally.
He further informed that the Ministry was looking at the production and sale of semen. “We want to be able to sell our semen to other (countries) where it is needed and at a good price,” he stated.
Turning to other areas of the agricultural sector, Minister Clarke noted that goat and pig rearing were doing well, while advances were being made in the area of sheep production.
The Jamaican Cattle and Beef industry has been recovering following the downward trend in the consumption of beef and its by-products in the 1990s, due to the emergence of the Mad Cow disease.
The Minnard Beef Festival was organized and staged by the Agricultural Development Corporation and the Jamaica Livestock Association (JLA).