Nutramix, in collaboration with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Caribbean, provided 30 goat farmers from Stony Hill, St Andrew, with training for internal and external parasite management.
Farmers who participated in the stakeholders’ analysis from the Sustainable Agriculture in the Caribbean (SAC) Project – funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) – identified internal and external parasite management as a priority area.
The call for guidance on the topic was answered with an official handover ceremony and training session, which was held at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) headquarters in Kingston.
At the event, Franklin Witter, state minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Franklin Witter, indicated the importance of safety in the small ruminant industry.
“As we continue to support you, small ruminant farmers, I charge you to also follow the proper procedures and protocols to prevent and control parasites. We are in the business of providing healthy food for consumption, and our approach to internal and external parasite control is crucial to that endeavour,” he emphasised.
According to Witter, 80 per cent of the goat meat consumed in Jamaica is imported.
“We want to reverse it so that in the next couple of years, we’ll be able to import maybe just 20 per cent while we produce 80 per cent,” he added.
Dr Gabrielle Young, Nutramix veterinarian and senior manager of livestock support, led the small ruminants internal and external treatment presentation.
She shared tips on how farmers can identify the different parasites and pests that can affect their herds, determine the right course of action, and ultimately improve nutrition for their animals and parasite resistance.
Each participating farmer also received a tech pack of products worth J$30,000 to address their herd’s internal and external parasite issues
The tech packs consist of a variety of products, including injectable dewormers, anticoccidial treatments, multivitamins (injectables and water soluble), first aid kits, thermometers, weight tape, hoof trimming tools, topical sprays for wound treatment and parasites, as well as bags of Nutramix feed for proper herd nutrition.
According to Dr Young, farmers participating in the initiative will benefit from a three-month follow-up from Nutramix veterinarians and livestock specialists.
“We will visit their farms to train them again to see how best we can improve their production. It’s not only just providing them with something, it’s showing them what to do and showing them how to use the products properly because sometimes they buy these products but they don’t use them properly,” she explained.
Among the 30 participating farmers were four youths.
Oberlin High School student, fifteen-year-old Kaheim Mclune, indicated that his farmer’s journey started when he was gifted a goat in primary school.
“I know that I am young but I enjoy farming and I try to balance it with my school work. I’m happy that I am able to participate in this training session because I have a long way to go and I want to know how to take care of my animals,” he said.
While Mclune currently has four goats, his ultimate goal is to improve infrastructure and increase his herd for reproductive and meat purposes.
The SAC project aims to increase the economic prosperity of women and youth in more sustainable agricultural markets in the Caribbean.
The initiative empowers local small ruminant farmers like McLune with training on internal and external parasite management to maximise output.
Nutramix, through its partnership with WUSC Caribbean, remains committed to increasing economic prosperity for all Jamaican farmers.