February 4, 2016                                                

Jamaica launches $42.9 million programme to boost poultry production


In a national plan to boost productivity and profit for Jamaica's poultry farming sector, the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has launched a $42.9 million programme in January this year, the Jamaica Observer reported.

Called the All-Island Small Farmer Poultry Project, the initiative - a part of the ministry's two-year Livestock Development Project - is implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). Farmers must be registered with the body in order to receive aid in the form of chicks, feed and training in best practices for production and processing, as well as preparations for production with new technologies.

According to the ministry, over 2,000 farmers qualify for the programme. 

"Poultry meat is the number one meat in Jamaica and is a shared market by both commercial and backyard farmers," said Jamaican minister Derrick Kellier. "These small farmers have invested heavily in these operations and the Ministry, through its extension services, has ensured that the farmers have the available resources and training to be successful."

According to Maxine Brown, RADA's senior livestock specialist, Jamaica's livestock market is a dynamic sector, requiring constant updates of production practices to industry demands.

"We have to pay close attention to our production practices, work at creating new breeds or improving current breeds," Brown said.

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