One thousand black belly sheep destined for Guyana from Barbados are currently in quarantine to minimise the risk of importing diseases here, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha revealed on Tuesday.
The sheep are expected to arrive within a couple of weeks and will kick start the government’s Black Belly Sheep Project in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
“I spoke to the minister [Barbados’ Agriculture Minister] not so long ago, about two to three weeks, and he told me that now they are having the sheep quarantine to send to Guyana.
“They don’t want to send it directly…they want to quarantine it to ensure that there are no diseases with these sheep,” Minister Mustapha told reporters at the sidelines of an event at the Agriculture Ministry’s head office in Georgetown.
Mustapha said preparations are also underway here for the arrival of the sheep.
The Black Belly Sheep Project was officially launched on March 27 by President Dr Irfaan Ali at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice.
The project forms part of plans to boost the region’s food security with Region Five being positioned to become the livestock capital for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Expanding mutton production efforts stemmed from prior engagements between Dr. Ali and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
President Ali had stated that 20 per cent of the farmers must be women and 35 per cent must be young people 35 years and under; this is part of President Ali’s vision to empower women and youth in the agriculture sector.
In order for the project to be sustainable and resilient, the government will be assisting farmers to procure technological systems and transform their farmlands and pastures.
Farmers will also be required to keep a database that must be updated daily.