Agriculture Ministry partners with NCU to develop dairy sector Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining has entered into a partnership with the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), to develop 40 acres of fodder for the dairy sector.

The institution also received six Jamaica Hope cattle from the Ministry and a new milking parlour is to be constructed.

Portfolio Minister, Floyd Green made the announcement at the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB)/ NCU Dairy Revitalization Project Launch, held at the institution in Mandeville recently.

Green noted that for Jamaica to regain its world leader status in the dairy sector, the amount of milk produced must be improved.

“We have to look at our fodder banks and the types of grass best suited for our changing climate. We also want to see more training done so that when other entities are looking for technical expertise in their areas, they can turn to NCU. We want you to train the next generation of agriculturalists,” Green stated.

He stated that while the dairy sector has faced significant challenges over the years, the Ministry is looking to revitalise it.

“It starts from doing the research work to ensure that the breeds of cattle developed years ago, are still strong and we bring them back from the decline that they have suffered. This will be reversed through the use of new technologies such as artificial insemination,” the Minister said.

Green also informed of the milking parlour located at the Bodles Research Station in St Catherine, and that a team has been assembled to bring back the Jamaica Hope breed.

Plans are also in place to target students at the secondary school level, while work is also being undertaken to improve genetics and rebuild stocks.

Meanwhile, President of NCU, Dr. Lincoln Edwards, has welcomed the partnership with the JDDB, which is aimed reducing Jamaica’s import bill and satisfying the nutritional requirements of the population.

“Dairy farming was part of a larger farming enterprise including the production of eggs and a variety of crops. The partnership being formalized today between NCU and the JDDB is taking the university back to its roots to make it more relevant to the current and future national developmental needs,” Dr  Edwards said.

“Our aim is to transform the existing dairy operation within the dairy unit into an all-inclusive, vertically integrated activity to include animal care, reproduction, feeding management, milking and value-added processing that provides tutorial interface and commercial output,” he added.

The JDDB’s mission is to effectively regulate and advance the dairy industry by establishing a robust regulatory framework, technological and research systems through development programmes, services, and partnerships.