Gov't revamping dairy development boardThursday, May 13, 2021
BY BALFORD HENRY
THE Government has decided to expand the reach of the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB) by transforming the 22-year-old body into the National Livestock Development Board (NLDB).
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green said that the ministry conducted a strategic review of the initiatives geared towards small ruminants and dairy and beef cattle sectors, in recognition of the need to structure the livestock industry to harness new opportunities.
He said that the action will result in the JDDB being transformed into a board which will be supported by revised legislation and development of a national livestock development policy.
Green, who was speaking in the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate at Gordon House yesterday, explained that this would require an amendment of the JDDB Act of 2009 to create the livestock development board which will embrace the wider livestock sector without diminishing the focus on dairy industries development.
“Consultations in promoting the very lucrative dairy industry have been bearing fruit with new and expanded investments by Tru-Juice Limited, Serge Island and Nestle,” Green told the House of Representatives.
He stated that significant work and consultation had been conducted regarding the Dairy Board Act and, among the strategies to be employed, were the planning, promoting, facilitating and coordinating of an accelerated development of the livestock and dairy industries.
“This will include widening of the focus from strictly goat meat production to include milk, and milk products such as a cottage cheese,” he said.
In addition, the development of a livestock marketing information system and implementation of the hard management and animal registration system for small ruminants is to be integrated into the national animal identification and traceability system.
Green also announced the establishment of a scientifically determined target for local milk production, using population demographics and distribution analysis, as well as the development of a system to export of Jamaican livestock meats and meat by-products, and promote and facilitate product diversification, through research, training and the introduction of new technology.
“In alignment with the resurrection of the beef industry we will also facilitate the creation of a beef producers co-operative to operate its own multi-species abattoir to process and market specialised cuts to hotel, restaurants and supermarkets,” said the minister.
He said that another key initiative will be capacity-building of all stakeholders, through the promotion and the strengthening of the livestock producers associations, including dairy and beef farmers, pig farmers, pork producers, poultry and egg farmers.
“Overall, we will create an enabling environment for product diversification, improve alignment of the value chain for increased returns to farmers, as well as facilitate, promote and support the development and dissemination of improved technologies,” Green said.
The JDDB began operations in September 1999 consequent upon Cabinet Resolution No 13/99 of April 19, 1999. The enabling legislation was enacted with effect from February 13, 2009 and received the assent of the governor general on March 10, 2009.
Following its enactment, the board began operation as a statutory body with effect from September 9, 2009, with the appointment of a board of directors by the minister of agriculture and fisheries. The board comprises 10 members from diverse sbackgrounds.
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