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The commitment to establish a youth arm of the Red Poll Cattle Breeders Society in member countries including Jamaica, and successful embryo transfers for a local breeder, were two of the main highlights of the 12th World Red Poll Congress taking place in Jamaica.
This was disclosed by Chairman of the Jamaica Red Poll Cattle Breeders Society, Dr. Karl Wellington in a JIS interview, following the opening session of the congress on Saturday, April1 25 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
In his opening remarks at the congress, Dr. Wellington said the staging of the event Jamaica was timely, given consensus on the need for revitalization of the ruminant sector in the interest of food security. He said the forum was the ideal springboard for the kind of revitalization that is necessary.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson pointed out that the Ministry has played a pivotal role in the development of the four breeds of cattle, which has had a significant impact on the sector. These breeds include the Jamaica Black, Jamaica Hope, Jamaica Brahman, and the Jamaica Red Poll.
Mr. Hutchinson welcomed the more than 100 delegates from eight Red Poll Cattle breeders-member countries, including Panama, which was being represented for the first time.
Delegates and experts, including personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, discussed challenges facing local beef production, such as the need to remain competitive; embryo transfer in Jamaican cattle, and experiences with the testing of tropical grass and legume varieties.
Dr. Wellington indicated very positive outcomes of the discussions on Jamaica’s experience in the testing of tropical, grass and legume. Results he said indicated “plausible use of certain varieties to facilitate growth in ruminant livestock production systems thereby minimizing the use of imported concentrates.”
He further added that recent breakthroughs in embryo transfers were discussed with the first two calves born from embryo transfers on show along with a large number of others with calves in utero, also from embryo transfers. These he said were the first local breakthroughs since 1988.
Delegates will be visiting the Bodles and Montpelier Research Stations this week to observe research and development activities in livestock improvement schemes, related to the breeding and rearing of cattle under special conditions, breed multiplication and more. They will also visit several cattle farms across the island.
The Red Poll Cattle Breeders congress is held every four years in Red Poll breeding locations worldwide. These include the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Uruguay, the United States, and Canada. The breeders last met in Jamaica in 1991.

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