Jamaica se marca como objetivo alcanzar la autosuficiencia en la producción de vacuno
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Robert Montague, is confident that the country can achieve self-sufficiency in beef production.
He stated that Government’s plan to significantly boost production of beef to meet 60 to 65 per cent of local consumption needs by 2020 is achievable.
Minister Montague was addressing a National Consultation on Jamaica's Livestock Sector held yesterday morning (November 15) at the Mona Visitor’s Lodge on the campus of the University of the West Indies.
Turning to the dairy sub-sector, the Agriculture Minister said the time has come to look at the industry with "new eyes" with a focus on productivity, herd management, genetics and other research and support systems.
He noted that with farmers producing only 12.5 million litres of milk, while consumption was at some 140 million litres, the industry offers tremendous potential for growth. He observed that organic milk production presents an area of opportunity, while efforts are being made to utilise more locally-produced milk and milk solids in the school feeding programme.
Turning to small-stock production, the Minister stated that the sheep and goat sub-sector is also teeming with opportunity. He observed that while the country produces some 500,000 of these animals, there is a current demand for some three million.
"I have mandated the 4-H clubs to focus on small stock such as goats and chicken rather than on rabbits and guinea pigs," he informed.
Minister Montague also outlined measures to address praedial larceny, including the increased apprehension of unlicensed butchers, greater emphasis on record keeping and certification of abattoirs and processing plants, as well as the establishment of at least four state-of-the-art public abattoirs.
He also pointed to need for increased vigilance on the part of community members to arrest the problem.
Minister Montague praised the work of the late Dr. T. P. Lecky in the establishment of viable breeds in the livestock industry and urged farmers to preserve that legacy through the maintenance and management of their stock.
The one-day consultation, sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), included technical presentations from specialists in beef and dairy, swine, small ruminants and egg and chicken meat production.