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Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke has encouraged more farmers to get involved in the rearing of cattle, so as to meet the very high demand that currently exists in the local marketplace.
“I know that opportunities abound as far as cattle production in the country is concerned, both in terms of milk and in terms of beef,” he said.The Minister was speaking recently at the 52nd annual general meeting of the Jamaica Red Pole Breeders Association, which was held at Southfield in St. Elizabeth.
Mr. Clarke said he was quite heartened by the fact that local Jamaican cattle breeders appeared to be moving once again in the right direction, having rebounded from a very turbulent period.
“I was in Westmoreland and a friend told me that anything he now wants for his animals, he can get it,” he said.
The Minister said the challenge facing the local cattle breeders was how to find the right way to significantly grow the industry in a very short time.
“I am happy to know that the breeding societies are trying to put a business plan together. I can assure you that the Ministry will lend as much help as we can. The first step is to do a survey as to the number of heifers and bulls we have in Jamaica,” Mr. Clarke said.
“As I go around Jamaica, I see animals which are of quality and I foresee a great industry. I don’t think that we will ever again find ourselves in that situation where we were. If we are going to grow cattle, I believe that we can produce the best grass fed cattle in the world,” he said.
The Minister told the audience that the promise he had made in terms of the provision of land for an abattoir, still remained.
“Your piece is there for the taking. As I have said before, at this point in time you don’t have to think about a massive slaughter facility, as currently you don’t have many animals,” the Minister said.