The first flock of the black belly sheep from Barbados is expected in Guyana by next week.
This was revealed by Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha as he addressed residents of No.28 Village and surrounding communities in Region Five. He explained the 1000 sheep will be transported in smaller flocks over the coming weeks.
“We will be having a 1000 black belly sheep coming from Barbados, the ship will be leaving Tuesday to bring the first set of sheep,” the Minister stated.
The sheep are expected to arrive in Guyana within 48 hours after departure from Barbados. Before the sheep were cleared to be shipped, they were examined for signs of illness.
President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali launched the black belly sheep project in Mahaica-Berbice back in March where he declared that the region could be the livestock capital of the Caribbean. It is an investment of US$3 million for 2000 black belly sheep. The second batch of sheep will arrive in the near future.
Close to 100 farmers have already signaled their intention to be a part of the project making close to 1400 acres of their land available.
“The president has instructed that 30 per cent of women and 20 per cent of youth must be involved in the project, not only men,” the Minister noted.
President Ali at the launch of the project pointed out that the world import value of mutton and mutton products is US$ 8 billion. CARICOM alone imports 7,900 tonnes of mutton at US$48 million annually. Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago are the four major markets that Guyana can target the President has pointed out.
“We have right within our arms’ reach a market that can generate a value of US$48 million. And who supplies CARICOM right now? Australia and New Zealand. With the cost of freight and logistics cost increasing, it is becoming more and more expensive, that is why this is a low hanging fruit, CARICOM is right within our arms reach.”
“I am presenting you this to show you the opportunities so that you will know in this project there are great opportunities. This is not a project by guess, this is a project that is supported by scientific research, market research and strong negotiations on the trade side,” President Ali stated.
Government in its 2022 budget has earmarked $28.7 billion to ensure the rapid growth and development of Guyana’s agriculture sector.