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  • The Government is to complete the procurement of 200 goat embryos for assisted breeding this fiscal year, to improve the quality and efficiency of the small ruminant industry.
  • It is also anticipated that the abattoir training facility will be equipped and the waste treatment infrastructure completed at the Bodles Livestock Station in St. Catherine.
  • The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC).

The Government is to complete the procurement of 200 goat embryos for assisted breeding this fiscal year, to improve the quality and efficiency of the small ruminant industry.

A sum of $34.7 million has been allocated in the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure to carry out this and other initiatives under the Diversification of the Caribbean Livestock through the Production of Small Ruminant project.

The project seeks to contribute to the attainment of self-sufficiency in regional meat consumption  through the development of the small ruminant industry; to increase the availability of quality breeding stock at affordable prices; to transfer/disseminate technology in the use of improved feed and feeding systems; and to increase the production of small ruminant meat and ancillary products.

It is also anticipated that the abattoir training facility will be equipped and the waste treatment infrastructure  completed at the Bodles Livestock Station in St. Catherine. In addition, the demonstration plots of improved management systems for feeding will be expanded and the feed storage shed will be refurbished at the Hounslow Livestock Demonstration Station.

Other targets are: to complete cluster development training of small ruminant clusters; complete procurement of fertility tools and equipment for reproductive facility; continue the dissemination of breeding stock, fatteners and planting material to 50 farmers;  and conduct Master Butcher training.

Physical achievements attained under the project up to December 2015 included: reproductive laboratory established at Hounslow Demonstration Training Centre, now 80 percent complete; 58 ewes, rams and bucks imported; breeding stock currently at 362 head; 200 sheep embryos procured; 40 surrogate ewes implanted with embryos (two embryos per female); and eight offspring born from embryo transfer (ET).

In addition, 10 farmers, 10 students and 10 stakeholders were introduced to the ET process; artificial insemination on 30 percent of the breeding stock was conducted; over 150 animals (purebred and crossbred breeding stock) were distributed to farmers; and 3,500 plants were distributed to 33 farmers as planting material to establish fodder banks;  and training of five farmer groups (140 farmers ) was conducted.

The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC).

It was originally slated to run from April 2012 to December 2015. Following an extension, it is now scheduled to conclude in June, 2016.

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