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Katahdin sheep breeding stock arrives in Belize

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019. 11:35 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Ministry of Agriculture informs that on March 14th, 34 (32 females and 2 males) purebred Katahdin Breeding Sheep arrived at the National Sheep and Goat Breeding Center (NSGBC) in Central Farm.

The NSGBC is operated by “Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project” (called the Sheep Project), which is co-worked by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Taiwan Technical Mission, for the purpose of producing diverse genetic stock of sheep for the country of Belize.

The imported Katahdin breed will be incorporated in a breeding program combined with the other two breeds (Dorper and Barbados Black Belly) to provide improved genetic material to sheep farmers to meet their demands for quality offspring by reducing incidences of inbreeding.

This importation marks the 4th batch of breeding stock introduced into Belize to compliment the ongoing breeding program at the NSGBC. 

Since the launching of the Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project in December 2015 as per agreement between the Government of Belize and the Government of Republic of China (Taiwan), there has been remarkable progress made in the sheep Industry.

Some notable progress includes the construction of the modern sheep barn known as the National Sheep and Goat Breeding Center (NSGBC), training and capacity building of technicians, extension officers and farmers and the importation of four successive batches of pure breed genetic quality sheep from the USA.

The current stock at the NSGBC stands at 180 heads of sheep, which includes 66 lambs of the three breeds that will be available for sale to sheep farmers in June of this year.

The year 2018 saw the production of 50 improved lambs that were sold to both breeder and commercial sheep farmers.

Production is expected to increase in 2019 with the introduction of the 33 Katahdin females from the USA.

 Furthermore, it is envisioned that the sheep genetic diversity will improve the traceability and certification programs to strengthen the sheep industry value chain. 

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