More Brahman cattle for breeding improvement project to arrive in Sept
In efforts to improve the genetic buildup of cattle in Guyana, some 60 Brahman cattle from the United States of America (USA) are expected to arrive next month.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha told the News Room on Monday that this investment is part of the breed improvement programme to rebuild the livestock sector.
The Minister said that the 60 bulls cost roughly $70 million and are expected to arrive by the end of September.
“We are now improving our genetics stock so what those bulls will do is they will help us to improve and we will work with farmers to get better stocks, better breed of animals. So by the end of September, we will have about 60 of those bulls in the country,” the Agriculture Minister said.
He added, “We will be working with farmers through the programme that we have so that these bulls will be shared around the country. We will monitor them, we will have the amount of breeding calf that will be produced and things like that.”
Asked about the decision to import this type of cattle, the minister said, “They are in demand among the farmers.” Brahman cattle are not new to Guyana, however, there was a need to replenish the breed locally. Mustapha added that Brahman has a positive impact on the cattle rearing industry here.
Mustapha importantly noted that following the major flood experienced last year, “we had some money that was given to us to improve our genetic stock breed. That is what we are doing now. We are doing that and we will be having these breeds to improve our stock.”
Flooding was declared a national disaster by President Dr Irfaan Ali after a total of 28, 228 households were affected by flooding last June. Meanwhile in June this year, there was another flood which again, affected not only households but farmers as well. Distress over the loss of livestock grappled the farmers on both occasions as they reached out for assistance.
Just last month the first batch of black belly sheep arrived in Guyana from Barbados. This programme is expected to improve the breed of sheep here and create a new brand of sheep through the cross-breeding of the black belly sheep and common sheep here.
Further, the ministry has also embarked on genetic insemination of pigs. The minister last week said thus far, 35 swine that underwent the procedure have been shared with farmers.