Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Audley Shaw says the ministry is targeting the implementation of several strategies
intended to boost Jamaica’s livestock and dairy industries to enable the country to become more self-sufficient in these areas.
He said the strategies aim, over time, to reduce imports and improve the country’s beef, goat meat (chevon) and milk production.
“We are going to have to import embryos and we are going to have to find clean, disease-free cattle to import calves into Jamaica so that we can start to aggressively rebuild the beef industry and the dairy industry,” he said.
Noting that this has been done with pigs and chickens, Shaw contended that “we can do it with beef and we can do it with dairy”.
The minister was speaking at the opening ceremony for the Youth in Agriculture Village at the 66th Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon, on Saturday.
Noting that preserving Jamaica’s food security is a high priority for the Government, Shaw said focus on repositioning the country to becoming self-sufficient in crop and livestock production is also intended to further reduce imports.
He argued that it is “unacceptable” that Jamaica is importing as much as 85 per cent of the foods being consumed by locals and tourists, “when we have… so much (arable) land and technology that is available”.
Hence the need, the minister added, for the country to “have a plan” that effectively rectifies this scenario.
Source: Jamiaca Observer