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New Central Farm sheep barn sponsored by Taiwan Sheep & Goat Project now open

Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2022. 3:03 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) on Thursday morning hosted the inauguration and handing over ceremony for a newly completed sheep barn at the National Sheep & Goat Breeding Center at the MAFSE Central Farm Livestock section.

The barn was constructed under the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF)

“We are happy to see the progress of the livestock sector in our country Belize, especially the increase of production of the small ruminant subsector,” said Minister Jose Abelardo Mai.

“According to the sheep population survey of 2022, there are about 17,264 head of sheep in Belize that are being reared by 474 sheep farmers from around the country. This figure has increased considerably over the past couple of years due to the intervention of the Taiwanese government. First, the genetic improvement through the Sheep and Goat Project Phase, and now the Breeding Sheep and Goat Production and Guidance System Enhancement Project Phase 2, which we commonly refer to as the Sheep and Goat Project Phase 2.

“These projects have contributed tremendously to the growth and development of the sheep and goat industry in Belize,” Mai said.

The Agriculture Minister said ten years ago the sheep population was about 9,000 and the industry was stagnant. He said that the ICDF has helped immensely to improve the industry as they not only assist with the genetic improvement and technical guidance, but also assist the farmers on how to take care of their flocks, increasing public awareness of lamb, mutton, and goat, and teach farmers how to cut and cook these meats as a healthy alternative to the traditional meats.

Mai said Belize needs to ensure a sustainable and profitable industry by looking for export markets and we need to look seriously at valued adding.

The Belize-Taiwan Sheep and Goat Project Phase II, signed by the Governments of Taiwan and Belize in March 2020, has a budget of US$3 million and is being implemented during a four-year span.

Minister Mai thanked the Ambassador of Taiwan David Kuan-Chou Chien for the assistance rendered by the Government of Taiwan through its International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) which finances the Breeding Sheep and Goat Production and Guidance System Enhancement Project Phase 2.

 

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