Department of Agriculture on Nevis upping quality of small ruminants
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 04, 2021) — Small ruminant production is another area on which the Department of Agriculture is focusing, in keeping with its thrust to ensure food security on Nevis.
Mr. Rohan Claxton, Livestock Extension Officer with responsibility for Production on the Maddens Stock Farm, stated on October 29, 2021, that the new programme will provide livestock farmers with an opportunity to upgrade the quality of their animals.
“We are starting the programme to provide kids sometime next year to offer for sale at a minimum cost, and we offer breeding bull service for the goats. So if you are interested you can bring your does and we [will] allow the goat boer to serve them, and then we will start a programme.
“To build a nucleus stock we are going to ask farmers to donate back the females that you get back to the stock farms so we could increase the breeding nucleus for the goats,” he said.
The Livestock Extension Officer explained that the department’s recent return to a goat breeding programme replaces the once thriving sheep breeding programme at the farm.
“We just started recently getting back into goats. Sometime ago we used to deal with sheep and at that time we used to use the Black Belly sheep, which was a tropical breed that originated in Barbados, and as a result the Black Belly has been spread throughout the Caribbean. Now Barbados is trying to make sure that that gene stays in their country. So we do have a lot of Black Belly sheep around on the island…
“At this point in time we have gotten some F1 does or females and then we brought in a donation from Ross University to start the programme, a purebred ram, Boer Ram,” he said.