$407.2 M expended for development of livestock industry in first half of 2021

Of the $806 million allocated to the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), $407.2 million was expended by the first half of this year to spur production in the meat industry.

Since taking office, the PPP/C Government created a conducive environment for local producers to benefit from the increasing demand for meat from local businesses and oil and gas companies.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, believes that these measures which his ministry has implemented, will significantly reverse the challenges faced by farmers.

A livestock animal

Earlier this year, senior officers from the agency travelled to several regions and hosted consultations with farmers. The outreaches sought to observe the daily operations of the agriculturists and find out issues affecting them.

At the time it was revealed that extension officers did not have vehicles to access farmers. Applied research was also lacking and limited, while available training failed to meet the needs of the farmers.

Against this backdrop, GLDA was able to make a number of advancements and it provided technical support to new producers and small-scale farmers across the country, through a number of initiatives.

As stated in the mid-year report, the GLDA successfully distributed 1,000 broilers, 300 black giant chicks, 430 ducklings and 71 bags of feed to farmers before the May/June rains.

The Black Giant is one of the demands in the hinterland communities. The large dual-purpose bird has the ability to produce up to 200 eggs annually and about 4.5 kilogrammes of meat. The bird forages and still produces reasonably well.

A total of 186 breeding stocks including pigs, sheep and cattle were distributed to farmers. Additionally, 18 training sessions on animal care, animal husbandry, feeding and sanitation and animal health were conducted with 300 farmers.

In Region Nine, about nine pastures were established in the communities of Karasabai, Nappi and Parishara.

Baby chicks

Farmers in both the hinterland communities and coastal regions have benefited from access to appropriate breeding stock.

Minister Mustapha said his ministry continues to craft measures to address the obstacles affecting the livestock industry. These efforts have already met the needs of approximately 5,000 small farmers and broiler producers.

“The removal of VAT on key inputs in the poultry industry and zero-rating the poultry industry was done as promised and has benefited an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 small farmers and broiler producers,” the minister said.

The ministry is also planning to invest about $29 million to establish a modular pig slaughtering and processing facility at Garden of Eden.