JIS News

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  • The Government is aiming to significantly boost local milk production from the current level of 13 million litres annually to 20 million litres by 2020, says Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.
  • “We are introducing fodder banks – fodder that we plant and store in order to offset the absence of fodder in the dry season. We are also providing water tanks, where farmers can harvest and store water, especially for the dry season,” the Minister said.
  • The Minister also congratulated Seprod for partnering with the local dairy industry, with the objective of supplying 65 per cent of CARICOM’s milk demand by 2025.

The Government is aiming to significantly boost local milk production from the current level of 13 million litres annually to 20 million litres by 2020, says Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.

In a speech delivered by Director General in the Ministry, Vivian Brown, at the Seprod Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony in Kingston on October 20, Mr. Samuda said the Ministry has employed a number of strategies to develop the dairy industry, including improving the genetic performance of the animals, and providing the appropriate environment for the animals.

He noted that a programme of heifer redeployment, where the animals are purchased and redeployed to other farms on a loan basis, in order to expand the heifer population, is being undertaken.

Farmers are also being provided with adequate water and fodder to mitigate the impact of droughts.

“We are introducing fodder banks – fodder that we plant and store in order to offset the absence of fodder in the dry season. We are also providing water tanks, where farmers can harvest and store water, especially for the dry season,” the Minister said.

A training programme in the adoption of new technologies, which can be accessed through the Dairy Development Board, is also among the initiatives to expand the local dairy industry.

“We must move from this situation where more than 90 per cent of the island’s dairy consumption is imported, where we are importing some US$52 million worth of milk and milk substitutes annually, and where we have moved from producing 38.8 million litres in 1992, to less than 200 farmers supplying approximately 12 million litres in 2015,” Mr. Samuda said.He added that the

Government wants to see more value-added products being created and foreign exchange being earned, rather than being spent on importing milk and milk substitutes “that we can produce right here in Jamaica”.

The Minister also congratulated Seprod for partnering with the local dairy industry, with the objective of supplying 65 per cent of CARICOM’s milk demand by 2025.

Mr. Samuda congratulated the recipients of scholarships, which include 34 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students, and five College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) students.

He also commended Seprod on the initiative, as over the past 10 years the company has awarded more than 300 students islandwide with scholarships, under the Seprod Foundation GSAT Scholarship Programme.

For his part, State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, also extended commendations to Seprod for assisting the students in pursuing their dreams.

“I encourage all of you as you now set off on a new journey, to dream big and to pursue it feverishly and to recognise that the world is your playground,” Mr. Green said.

The CASE scholarship is valued at $3 million per year and this includes the research and technical assistance that Seprod will be providing to CASE annually.

The complete GSAT programme has 148 students, currently, between first and fifth forms with an investment of more than $4 million per year. To remain in the scholarship programme the student must maintain a B average.