Jan 03, 2017 News
-Gov’t eyes establishment of milk processing facility
In 2015, milk was the top imported food at a cost of US$27M. More so, over the last five
years, Guyana has seen a 55 percent increase in the volume of milk and milk products imported into the country.
This was according to the Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder, during a news conference in Georgetown last week.
The Minister added, also, that 2015 imports were almost 10 million kilograms (KG).
Holder told media operatives that at one time, Guyana had one of the most flourishing dairy industries in the Caribbean while adding that his Ministry intends to return the industry to its “glory days”.
“The industry is stymied by the absence of adequate milk processing facilities. To this end, the construction of a modern milk processing plant is planned, capable of not only processing fresh milk but also reconstituting powered milk and blending fresh milk and the reconstituted milk into UHT (Ultra-high Temperature) milk and other products.”
Further, the Ministry will coordinate milk collection and establish cooling stations at strategic locations. It is anticipated that with these interventions and the necessary technical support, the sector will grow by about 10% in 2017, while at the same time, making a significant contribution to increased farm incomes.
He added, also, that the Guyana Livestock Development Board (GLDA) will also import 3000 doses of dairy semen which will be infused into the local herd in an effort to improve production and productivity.
Poultry – the Black Giant Poultry Programme
Meanwhile, Guyana is self-sufficient in poultry production, the Minister reported.
In 2016, production increased by five percent over 2015 to 32 million Kg. Positive growth will continue in 2017 due to improved husbandry practices, better quality of feed and increase in capacity of a major player in this industry, the Minister revealed while pointing out that the local poultry industry has “tremendous potential and promise.”
“As an integral part of its hinterland development program, we have acquired poultry with improved genetics from Brazil to be used to upgrade the local Creole bird population. This initiative will improve the nutritive base of hinterland residents, through the increased production of both meat and eggs.
These birds have the ability to thrive on resources from within the communities and will, therefore, eliminate the need to have feed material shipped from the coast,” Holder stated.
The Minister also spoke about Hinterland schools being targeted for the following reasons: self-sufficiency in meat and eggs, especially in schools with dormitories; exposure to potential business opportunities and efficient conversion of kitchen waste, among others, into valuable protein for human consumption.
“The impact this will have on food and nutrition security will be considerable,” he said.
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