JIS News

The best of the country’s livestock will be on display at the 53rd staging of the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show to be held at the Denbigh Showgrounds, Clarendon, from July 30 to August 1.
Jasmin Holness, Deputy Director of Research in the Ministry of Agriculture and Chairman of the Denbigh Livestock Exhibits Committee, told JIS News that the competition was one of the major attractions of the show, displaying Jamaica’s best dairy and beef cattle, sheep and goat.
Mrs. Holness pointed out that four classes of animals would be highlighted, including goat, cattle, sheep and to a lesser extent, pigs. The competitive classes are for goat, cattle and sheep only, because of the logistics involved in taking the pigs to the competition.
She noted that most of the prizes are awarded along guidelines set by the Breeders’ Societies.
There are four cattle breed societies in the country – Jamaica Hope, Jamaica Red Poll, Jamaica Brahman and the Jamaica Black. The Goat Breeders Society offers prizes for goats as well as sheep.
Prizes will also be donated by business houses that support agricultural activities, such as the Jamaica Broilers Group, through their Hi-Pro Feeds blend; Newport Mills, through Nutramix Feeds; National Commercial Bank, Scotiabank Jamaica and Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART).
Mrs. Holness pointed out that the animals to be judged must satisfy the requirements of the particular Breeder’s Society and should show the relevant characteristics.
On Saturday, July 30, there will be the judging of beef cattle and on Sunday, July 31, dairy cattle, sheep and goat. Animals are judged on the day assigned, “so it is a matter of preparation and presentation of the animals at the point in time”, Mrs. Holness said.
The Deputy Director further informed that the dairy cattle class had three groups – the Jamaica Hope, the Holstein-Friesian and other dairy breeds.
She said there was no limit as to the number of animals that participants could enter, “as long as the animals are healthy and meet the veterinary requirements”.
Commenting on the issue of bio-engineering and bio-technology, Mrs. Holness said that Jamaica was presently looking at coming up with its protocols on bio-technology and bio-engineering for the way forward.
“Bio-engineering has not yet occurred within our local livestock. The only area of bio-technology that has been used for over 50 years is artificial insemination in cattle, to a small extent in goats and more extensively in pigs these days,” explained the Chairman.
“To my knowledge, there are no bio-engineered animals here but Jamaica, through the Scientific Research Council (SRC), and the various Ministries, are now preparing a protocol for the management of such a situation,” she added.
Mrs. Holness expressed optimism for the future of the Livestock Competition and urged sponsors to contribute cash awards to accompany the trophies given. “Encouragement sweetens labour,” she said.
Considered the premier agricultural event in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean, this year’s show will have as its theme: ‘Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow’.
The main objectives of the Denbigh Show are to promote the agricultural sector; display the best foods produced in Jamaica by each parish; and highlight the importance of agriculture to the export sector and the national economy.