US reports findings on local cattle industry

Kaieteur News
January 19, 2007

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Guyana's cattle industry is complex with farmers having cattle for wealth, for beef income and or for milk income.

This was the observation of the U.S. Embassy here in Georgetown . Fewer farmers raised cows only for milk, it added.

The observation came during a seminar to report on the findings of a survey conducted by the embassy, in collaboration with the Partners of the Americas – Worldwide Farmer to Farmer Programme.

The seminar entitled “Impressions on Opportunities and Challenges for Guyanese Meat and Dairy Products” was held on Wednesday at Cara Lodge Hotel.

It focused on improving economic opportunities in the rural areas of Latin America and the Caribbean by increasing food production and distribution, promoting better farm and marketing operations and conserving natural resources.

It was also intended to bring together agricultural professionals and practitioners from the U.S. and the Caribbean .

The seminar focused on several pressing issues of the agricultural field, including the issue of cross-bred animals, safety and quality for meats in Guyana , improving production and the quality of cattle for potential export.

Issues such as a need for low interest credit, land tenure reform and special help for Guyana-based entrepreneurs were identified by the survey and addressed at Wednesday's seminar.

With respect to the dairy industry, the researchers commented that while there were some successes in the adoption of practices such as artificial insemination and pasture management, efforts to promote a sustainable commercial dairy processing and marketing model have been unsatisfactory.

Concerns raised included an inconsistent supply of low quality milk and insufficient scale of facilities and market.

Persons attending the presentation of the researchers' findings included cattle farmers from Regions 5 and 6, agricultural research scientists, agricultural professionals, staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, National Dairy Development Programme, National Agricultural Research Institute and University of Guyana, US Embassy staff, students of agriculture, members of the Guyana-Mississippi Chapter of Partners of the Americas and members of the general public.