Nevis Department of Agriculture Improving the quality of smallholder production


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Some of the Maddens Stock Farm goats in their pen on October 29, 2021

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS Small-scale agricultural production is another area the Department of Agriculture is focusing on, in line with its drive to ensure food security in Nevis.

Mr. Rohan Claxton, livestock extension officer in charge of production at Maddens livestock farm, said the new program will provide an opportunity for breeders to improve the quality of their animals.

“We are starting the program to offer kids next year to offer for sale at minimum cost, and we are offering a breeding bull service for the goats. So if you are interested you can bring your hinds and we [will] allow the goat boer to serve them, then we’ll run a program.

“To constitute a nucleus of cattle, we will ask the farmers to donate the females that you collect to the farms so that we can increase the breeding nucleus of the goats,” he said.

The livestock extension agent explained that the department’s recent return to a goat breeding program replaces the once thriving sheep breeding program on the farm.

“We’ve just started to get over the goats. A while ago we used to take care of sheep and at that time we used the Black Belly sheep, a tropical breed native to Barbados, and as a result the Black Belly spread to the Caribbean . Now Barbados is trying to make sure that this gene stays in its country. So we have a lot of Black Belly sheep on the island…

“At this point we got F1 hens or hens and then we donated Ross University to start the program, a purebred ram, Boer Ram,” he said.

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