Green promotes goat farming to offset the over $1billion annual importation of mutton
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green has highlighted the opportunity for more goat farmers as Jamaica imports over $1billion in mutton annually as a substitute for goat meat.
“In fact, we have said to people right now we want to see more goat farmers. You know why we want to see more goat farmers? all a we deh yah and we love we little curry goat but we import over $1billion in mutton [ annually], a not even goat, is mutton, and is that we eat as curry goat. So there is an opportunity for us to move that forward,” Green said.
Green highlighted that in a bid to bolster the goat stock, the Government has imported 1,000 of the animals since April of last year under the National Small Ruminant Development Programme.
“Last year we had no goats, the year before we had no goats. Since April, over 1,000 goats have come in so that we can build up our stock so that we can get more of our young people into agriculture,” said Green.
“So what has this Government done? We have embarked on a small ruminant programme. We looked at it and we said listen, we have to build up our breeding stock so we need people to be able to bring in the goat to help them breed duty-free and we started that in April and show you how vision and action work,” he added.
Green, who is also chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party’s Area Council Four, noted that the promotion of agriculture by the Government has resulted in an increased number of people in urban centres who are now involved in the sector.
“Because we have been promoting agriculture and telling people to get involved and showing them the opportunities out there, more and more people in urban spaces are getting involved in agriculture,” Green said.