Posted: Friday, February 3, 2023. 9:46 am CST.
Photo Credit: MAFSE
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Steering Committee of Belize-Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) Sheep and Goat Breeding Project Phase II met on Thursday to analyze progress of the sheep and goat subsector in the livestock industry.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE), under which the Sheep and Goat Project operates, the Steering Committee meets every two months to review the progress within that livestock subsector.
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 period.
MAFSE, with the aid of the Sheep and Goat Breeding Project Phase II, is not only promoting sheep farming, but also teaching farmers how to cook lamb and mutton, and looking for markets for their products.
Just last Saturday, the Sheep and Goat Project held a culinary arts training session for 30 sheep farmers in San Jose Succotz in the Cayo District to teach the farmers how to prepare five different dishes, namely sheep BBQ, lamb chop suey, stew lamb, kabobs, and lamb curry.
Another example of the Sheep and Goat Project in action was a Sheep Management Workshop for 15 sheep and goat farmers from Stann Creek District in June 2022. That workshop looked at sheep health management and at the sheep traceability system, while also reviewing sheep nutrition, pasture establishment, and supplemental feeding.
In November 2022, the Sheep and Goat Project inaugurated a modern Sheep and Goat Breeding Center in Central Farm.
At the time, Minister Jose Abelardo Mai said that according to the sheep population survey of 2022, Belize had 17,264 head of sheep. These were being reared by 474 sheep farmers from around the country. Mai said this figure had increased considerably over the past couple of years due to the intervention of the Taiwanese government which had introduced genetic improvement during the first phase of the Sheep and Goat Project Phase, and was ow following through with the Breeding Sheep and Goat Production and Guidance System Enhancement Project Phase 2.
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