Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2023. 2:04 pm CST.
Photo Credit: BLPA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Livestock Producers Association has acquired four Brangus bulls for its livestock genetic improvement programme through the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) Small Grants Project.
BLPA Chief Executive Officer William Usher said two of the bulls were acquired from Mexico and two were purchased locally from a breeding programme in Blue Creek for a total of $44,000.
“The bulls will be used to improve the national herd,” Usher said.
“The bulls will provide breeding service to farmers to improve the genetics within their herd, particularly for improving meat quality.”
Usher is very confident the livestock genetic improvement programme will produce positive results.
“We are certain that the program will be very successful, it’s just a matter of getting the animals ready,” Usher said.
“Since our AGM, we have had them here at the BLPA Module Farm. Producers were able to see them and so far, there is a lot of interest, just that at this time we have to do what we need to do to get them ready first.”
William said these four bulls are the first under this project and the BLPA is working out the terms of the breeding service to be offered to its members. He said the bulls that were acquired at the beginning of the year are being prepared to be able to provide the physical breeding service and will be ready after a month or so.
“We have to make sure they are healthy and sturdy during this process,” Usher said.
“There are many things that we have to work on, such as where they will be able to go, how long they will be able to go, what sort of field they can go to because you can’t just send them to a place that has no fence for example. There are a lot of procedural issues that we must have in place. These animals are worth $44,000; they are very expensive animals so we just can’t put them out under unknown conditions.”
According to the BLPA, in 2022, Belizeans consumed 9,062 livestock. During that time, the country exported 33,197 head of cattle to Guatemala and Mexico. In 2021 Belize had exported 41,315 head of livestock.
At the end of 2022, the Belize Livestock Registry reported the national herd stood at 178,594 (133,945 being female and 44,649 male). Orange Walk and Cayo were the districts with the highest concentration of cattle in the country.
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