Cattle farmers from Belladrum, in Region Five, are the latest group to benefit from the Ministry of Agriculture’s improved genetic material programme.
During a simple exercise held at the Paradise Community Centre ground, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha handed over a breeding bull to the farmers’ group, noting that the government was keen on making the necessary resources available to farmers as part of the government’s efforts to develop both the beef and dairy industry.
Two weeks ago, President Irfaan Ali hosted a community meeting with residents from Belladrum and other villages to listen to issues faced in the area.
While engaging the Head of State, cattle farmers from Belladrum indicated that they had taken note of the government’s efforts to boost the cattle industry. They said they were desirous of expanding their herds but needed the necessary genetic material.
While responding to their request, President Ali told the farmers that an animal would be made available to assist with developing their herds.
Minister Mustapha, while presenting the animal to the farmers, said that the government has a proven track record of delivering on commitments made to the citizens of the country.
“Every farmer from the area must have access to the animal. A system has to be set up to that every farmer can benefit. When you met with the President, you requested a breeding bull, and we are here just two weeks after President Ali made that commitment to deliver it,” he noted.
He also told farmers about some of the plans that are currently ongoing to develop the sector in the region.
“Region Five is slated for major development in the agriculture sector. Almost 90% of the people in Region Five depend on Agriculture. The government has expended large amounts of money on the MMA Scheme and other parts o the region.
The GLDA is currently working with IICA on a pasture development programme where grass seeds were brought in from Brazil to assist with improving existing and developing new pastures. The GLDA also secured 64 breeding bulls from Miami to develop our breeding programme.”
The Minister further disclosed that Cabinet recently approved a project valued at approximately $700 million that will see the construction of a state-of-the-art abattoir at Onverwagt.
Minister Mustapha also told the farmers that his Ministry would assist them with their land preparation and drainage and irrigation needs, noting that when farmers are empowered to produce, both the country and the economy benefit.