Delegates from eight English-speaking Caribbean countries met at a FAO-sponsored workshop in Bridgetown, Barbados, in November 1983, to determine ways and means for improving small animal production which would be easier, faster and less costly than the traditional developmental procedures. They recognized that this could best be achieved by utilizing the countries' technical and human resources in the form of a cooperative network. Thus the Caribbean Network of Cooperation in Small Animal Development was born which has since grown to include eleven member countries and one associated institution member.
The Workshop made a work plan for the Network and sheep development was one of the top priority items. It was recognized that the first step in the developmental process should be the creation of a cadre of trained personnel equipped with the tools and techniques for transferring advanced technologies to producers. Consequently, the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean took action to help the Network attain this goal.
This manual, which truly represents a cooperative effort, is one of the fruits of that action. Funds for its preparation and publication were provided by the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme via the Project "Strengthening a Tropical Sheep Production and Forage Conservation Centre" (TCP/RLA/4402(T). Technical inputs were made by the Network's Regional Coordinator and by an animal scientist of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), which is an Associated Institution Member of the Network. Technical inputs and supervision of the Manual's preparation were also provided by the Regional Animal Production Officer and other regional office staff members and consultants.
Self-teaching manuals, which are a part of the distant-learning process, have proven to be an effective and relatively inexpensive means of transferring basic and fundamental technologies to farmers and/or members of their families. This manual was designed for this purpose and it is felt that its widescale use by the member countries of the Caribbean Network of Cooperation in Small Animal Development will lead to substantial increases in sheep meat production. You are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.
Santiago, Chile, May 1985.