The Ministry of Agriculture today handed over 20 improved breeds of pigs to new and established swine farmers. This activity was executed through the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) and the Agriculture Sector Development Unit (ASDU).
In a missive to the media fraternity, it was noted that 17 sows and 3 boars were provided with the aim of boosting the quality of the stock as well as the country’s overall pork production levels. These farmers will also be required to assist other swine farmers once their pigs mature and begin to reproduce.
During the exercise, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha said the programme is indicative of the PPP/C administration’s overall efforts to ensure food security and reduce the regional food import bill.
He was keen to note the project’s significance in the context of the supply chain disruptions Guyana and other territories have been made to feel due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Minister Mustapha also alluded to the fact that, for the first half of 2022, the livestock sector has grown. This, he added, was testimony to the government’s commitment and unwavering support towards the development of the livestock industry and agriculture as a whole.
Chairman of GLDA’s Board of Directors and MoA Director General, Madanlall Ramraj said the country is well on its way to achieving its 2022 swine production target. Expounding on this front, he said the target is 4,200 sows to be produced by the end of 2022. To date, we are over 3,000.
The Chairman expressed hope that long before the end of the year, this target would be surpassed. Noting that there are currently over 11,000 pigs in stock for Region Nine and over 36,000 heads of cattle, Madanlall said more efforts will be executed to ensure the livestock sector is enhanced.
It should be noted that last March, 10 farmers benefited from a similar exercise. During that event, GLDA’s CEO (ag) Dr. Dwight Waldron said the animals were being made available through the Guyana Livestock Development Authority’s 2022 swine improvement programme.
The pilot programme he noted, formed part of a $1.8M investment by the government and will see the GLDA collaborating with farmers to improve the swine sector’s breeding and meat production capacities.