By Staff Writer
For the first half of 2021, the Agriculture Ministry spent $407.2 million on the development of the Livestock industry with a total of $399m still left on its budget for expenditure before year-end. This was noted by the Ministry of Finance in its latest economic report.
Expounding on this front, it was noted that the livestock industry saw some advancement on the initiatives identified for 2021. The Ministry noted that the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) for example provided support to new producers and small-scale farmers through technical assistance and the distribution of 1,000 broilers, 300 black giant chicks, 430 ducklings, and 71 bags of feed before the May/June rains.
In addition, GLDA distributed a total of 186 breeding stocks which included pigs, sheep, and cattle, and conducted 18 training sessions to 300 farmers on animal care, animal husbandry, feeding and sanitation, and animal health. In Region 9, the Ministry said nine pastures were established in three communities, namely Karasabai, Nappi, and Parishara.
Furthermore, the Ministry said the livestock industry is estimated to have grown by 10.6 percent when compared with the first half of 2020. It said growth was observed in the production of poultry meat, mutton, beef, pork, and table eggs, while the production of milk fell by 15.2 percent when compared with the same period last year. Guyana Standard understands that the higher poultry meat production was the result of an increase in the importation of hatching eggs, along with several small producers re-entering the industry to capitalise on higher prices.
Additionally, the Ministry said the reopening of food-related enterprises helped poultry production return to pre-pandemic levels. It said too that there was also an increase in the demand for meat by the extractive sector, as well as improvements in the productivity of cattle as a result of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority’s genetic improvement programme.
The industry is now projected to grow by 6.4 percent in 2021, reflecting primarily an upward adjustment to the forecast for poultry meat production.