Livestock farmers benefitting from significant aid

Livestock farmers countrywide will soon receive significant assistance, including financial aid, from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) to improve their capabilities.

This assurance was disclosed Wednesday by the Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Grayson Halley, who is currently wrapping up his regional inspection and assessment campaign for 2020.

The CEO said financial aid is among the plans being examined for 2021 to increase production and promote climate-smart agriculture.

Meanwhile, several farmers in the hinterland communities are already benefitting from the distribution of Black Giant poultry, after this was discovered to be one of the demands there.

The Black Giant is a large dual-purpose chicken, which has the ability to produce up to 200 eggs annually and about 4.5 kilogrammes of meat. The bird has the ability to graze and forage and still produce reasonably well.

“Some of those areas there are far, and for them to get protein (chicken and other meat products) it is very difficult. But if we can encourage them to rear their own, they can have eggs and meat… I have budgeted for us to import more of the Black Giant eggs and the grand parent of the Black Giants, so instead of bringing in eggs, we can keep multiplying the Black Giant and be more efficient and effective,” Dr. Halley said.

Famers in Regions Five and Nine have also pleaded for the dual-purpose bird, since it is competitive with the layer birds.

To meet this demand, the GLDA is presently developing its hatchery, and installing a new incubator, while a new hatcher will be purchased soon specifically for the Black Giant programme.

Farmers in Mahaica-Berbice (Region 5) are set to benefit from access to more breeding animals early in January following assessments in the region.

Similarly, East Berbice-Corentyne (Region 6) and Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo (Region 9) farmer will also receive breeding cattle. While the animals have been identified for delivery, the CEO explained that the bulls are presently going through the feedlot system.

He said while the GLDA plans to expand the animal numbers, emphasis will be placed on animal quality with their genetics being a key factor. 

“Come next year GLDA would have budgeted a significant sum in genetic improvement because through the region we found that genetic improvement or breeding animal is the main concern of farmers,” Dr. Halley stated.

He said over the years the Authority has been distributing mostly male breeds (bores, bulls) and this practice has to change. “We cannot have a pure breed earth if we only give male, we will only have a half breed and three-quarter breed. So, we need to ensure that if we want the farmers to have pure breed, then we need to also distribute female breeds.”