Major genetic improvements being pushed for livestock industry


Major genetic improvements are being pursued by the Ministry of Agriculture for the local livestock industry.

This is according to the subject Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, who on Tuesday told the News Room that these projects will transform livestock rearing in Guyana.

The minister said the transformation covers genetic insemination, embryo transplant and cross-breeding.

“We are looking at the cattle industry right now where we are working with the Brazilians to do embryo transplants so that we can have a better breed of cattle in a shorter time.

“We have been doing artificial insemination over the years, we will be working and collaborating with them [the Brazilians] to improve that,” Mustapha said at the sidelines of an event.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha

He added that the black belly sheep that are expected to arrive will create a brand here but there are talks to further transform the brand into creating a cross breed of sheep.  

“When the black belly comes from Barbados, although we want to create a black belly brand and we will do that.

“We will also create a mixed breed so we will have another brand being created too in this part of the world…what we have now is the common we will have the black belly and if you cross them you will have a crossbreed,” the Agriculture Minister said.

He added that “Prime Minister Motley spoke to me about that [cross breeding] and she’s very interested in that too, hoping that will help us to improve the livestock industry in our country… it will be good in Guyana.”

He noted that New Zealand lamb and the Australian lamb have been widely pursued on the market, hence these projects are needed to improve the livestock production in Guyana.

“It’s a whole lot of work we are doing in the livestock industry to improve it genetic-wise to ensure that we have better animals for dairy, better for beef and also have better animals for meat consumption and create this black belly brand that we want to create in the Caribbean,” he said.

At the end of July, the minister announced that the first flock of black belly sheep from Barbados were to arrive. Close to 100 farmers have signaled their interest in being part of the project.

The minister has also said that a programme will be rolled out for the artificial insemination of pigs. The testing here started last year and will be incorporated and available for all livestock farmers who are interested.

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