Second batch of 500 black belly sheep in Guyana

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The second batch of the black belly sheep from Barbados arrived in Guyana last week, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said on Wednesday.

“We have received approximately 500 of the sheep and we’re hoping by the end of this month we should receive all,” Minister Mustapha told the News Room during a telephone interview.

With the arrival of this second batch of sheep, the minister noted that testing of the sheep for diseases while quarantined before introducing them into the conditions in Guyana will be done.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture/September 01, 2022)

The first batch of sheep arrived in August when 132 sheep arrived. Another 1,000 sheep are expected to arrive in Guyana.

“We haven’t started the programme as we are awaiting the entire amount that has to come to Guyana,” Mustapha said.

A total of $177.7 million was allocated for the promising Black Belly Sheep Project, meant to help Guyana slash its food import bill.

Meanwhile, Minister Mustapha acknowledged that there was a recent matter where someone in Region Six indicated that they received the black belly sheep. He, however, said that the programme has not yet started.

He said, “… the President launched the programme in Region Five and we are now at the area there to make the necessary infrastructure and work with farmers so the programme will roll out in Region Five but it will go to other regions too.”

The programme will not start until testing and quarantine is completed.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), Dr. Dwight Waldron on Tuesday shared that the sheep are still at the GLDA’s Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara location and none were distributed.

Previously, the government had said that 30 per cent of the imported sheep will be given to women, 20 per cent will go to young people and the differently abled are being included in rearing this livestock here.

Close to 100 farmers have already signaled their intention to be a part of the project where close to 1,400 acres of their land have been made available.

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