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Ministry of Agriculture, Taiwan partners hold Lamb and Mutton Culinary Craft Workshop in San Jose Succotz; assist farmers with 85 sheep, 24 months technical support

Posted: Monday, February 6, 2023. 2:34 pm CST.

Ministry of Agriculture, Taiwan partners hold Lamb and Mutton Culinary Craft Workshop in San Jose Succotz; assist farmers with 85 sheep, 24 months technical support

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias:

In promotion of the sheep and goat industry, the Lamb and Mutton Culinary Craft Workshop in San Jose Succotz on January 28 went far beyond learning to prepare special dishes as each of the 20 participating families from the westernmost area of the country each received four breeding female sheep and will get technical support for the next two years. Additionally, as a group, the 20 families received five rams which will be shared for reproduction purposes.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise said the workshop, sheep, and technical support are part of a collaborative effort being carried out with the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) Breeding Sheep and Goat Production and Guidance System Enhancement Project (Sheep Project Phase II) and Food for the Poor (FFTP).

“Twenty families were selected from San Jose Succotz, Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Corozalito, and surrounding farms to participate in the workshop,” MAFSE said.

“The aims of the workshop were to train sheep farmers in the culinary skills of lamb and mutton to increase the consumption of lamb and mutton products in Belize, as well as to assist the families to become more self-reliant and achieve income self-sustainability.”

The Agriculture Ministry said the workshop is part of the Small Ruminant Grant for improving Livelihood Resilience in the Western Cayo District Belize Project, which came from the partnership between Taiwan ICDF Sheep Project Phase II and FFTP, a non-profit Christian organization,” MAFSE said.

According to Andrew Mejia, MAFSE’s Coordinator of the Sheep and Goat Project, FFTP is a Christian-based initiative through the Taiwan Technical Mission.

“It’s a small project that provides capacity building and live animals as well,” Mejia said.

“They are targeting mostly single-family homes, people who are less fortunate. All these people live on farms, and they are below the poverty line and it’s to help them in income generation.

In total, the 20 families received 80 female breeding sheep and five rams.

As reported earlier by Breaking Belize News, through the Lamb and Mutton Culinary Craft Workshop, Extension Officer Frank Padron showed the 30 participants how to prepare stewed lamb, lamb chop suey, and barbecue lamb, kabobs, and curry lamb.

So far, MAFSE have conducted seven Lamb and Culinary Craft Workshops. This one was coupled with live animals and technical capacity building.

Mejia said that since January last year they’ve visited all the districts and have trained 300 people. They are starting the rotation again with another Lamb and Culinary Craft Workshop at the Yo Creek Agriculture Station in Orange Walk next Thursday, February 16, targeting 50 farmers.

The Ministry of Agriculture reiterated their commitment, along with the TaiwanICDF and FFTP, to food security in Belize and the growth of the sheep and goat industry through sector development and improvement.

At this point, the sheep and goat population in Belize surpasses the 17,000 mark and is growing.

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.


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