Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary George Jarvis yesterday said that the production of value-added products is the focus of livestock sector.
He was at the time speaking at an exhibition held at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), Mon Repos as part of activities to mark Agriculture month, which is being observed under the theme “Sustaining Food and Nutrition Security in Guyana.”
“Today’s activity which deals with the products that you can have from the livestock sector is very timely because most of the time we focus on simply producing items … we want as a country to take agriculture from simply having bags of rice and sugar, and cows, and goat to moving to the value added stage,” Jarvis was quoted as saying by the Government information Agency (GINA).
He pointed out that GLDA’s emergence would serve mainly as the facilitator for such activities, while adding that farmers could derive ideas about how they can add value to their products and increase their profit margin.
“The future of the livestock industry in Guyana hinges upon all of us thinking outside of the box,” he added.
Jarvis highlighted that the formation of the GLDA is just one link in the chain of things that was put in place to improve the industry. These have helped to usher in growth and have aided the realisation of improvements including offering technical support and financial assistance via bank loans, the importation of 10,000 straws of semen for cattle improvement, with additional semen to be brought in for other classes of livestock, the existence of a field vet and artificial insemination technicians in every coastal district, and the pasture improvement programme.
“GLDA is empowered and they have the technical staff and equipment to assist you in doing other forms of production of food for livestock. You will see in the coming years increased production of soilage, and increased production of hay,” he said.
Additionally, GINA said the construction of the modern abattoir at Coldingen is important since it will able to process various classes of livestock for the export market, and it is expected that there will be differential values for the various cuts of meat and quality of livestock.
Chairman of GLDA’s Board Patrick DeGroot, it reported, explained that if the livestock farmers want to be recognised by the government and to allow them to be proactive in looking after their needs, they must organise themselves into an association much like the Poultry Producers’ Association, which is one of the most active associations in Guyana. Work is ongoing to put the swine association together while the cattle association needs to be revitalised in order to be an effective lobby.
The exhibition was attended by livestock farmers, member of the diplomatic corps, and students of the Cyril Potter College of Education and the University of Guyana.