IICA DELEGATION IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO PROMOTES THE DAIRY GOAT SECTOR UNDER ITS FLAGSHIP CHAINS PROGRAMME
January 16, 2017. During the past year, the IICA Delegation in Trinidad and Tobago, collaborated with the Trinidad and Tobago Goat and Sheep Society (TTGSS) and directed much of its resources in support of the development of the dairy goat industry. This initiative which falls under one of its flagship programmes: Competitiveness and Sustainably of Agricultural Chains, is specially designed to assist the industry in increasing productivity levels and standards of milk quality. The ultimate goal is to provide members of the TTGSS with the opportunity to be able to produce and successfully gain access to markets for goat’s milk and its products, by March, 2017.
To this end, several strategic approaches were undertaken by the Delegation including capacity building programmes for TTGSS members; preparation of a business plan; preparation of a dairy goat manual, and fact sheets on eight different types of forages. A dairy goat stakeholders’ committee was also established to provide guidance and leadership for the development of the industry.
The capacity building and skills development programme for the TTGSS covered a wide range of topics, beginning with sanitation management, followed by practical sessions on a member farm, where demonstrations were done on feed mixing; breed selection; castration; hoof trimming; dehorning, as well as on dairy goat housing management and construction. Other areas covered in the capacity-building programme included animal health and nutrition; business management and marketing and entrepreneurship.
Under the 10th EDF EU-Funded, Agricultural Policy Programme, the TTGSS also benefitted from five portable milking machines, capable of milking four goats at a time. The machines were distributed to five farmers, as a pilot project, to demonstrate methods of increasing efficiencies in milking operations. These machines will further boost support to the development of the dairy goat industry and work in tandem with the Flagship Chains project for 2017.
In December 2016, final activity was held at “UptheHill’ small ruminant farm in Moruga, where the IICA Representative in Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Gregg Rawlins officially handed over a dairy goat manual along with 8 forage fact sheets to the TTGSS President, Mr. Ravi Rene. In addition, over 50 farmers and institutional representatives received copies of the manuals and factsheets. A field tour was also conducted on the farm which included visits to the goat and sheep pens, milking parlor and observing the many species of locally grown forages. Participating in the day’s activities were also Dr. Kurt Manrique, International Specialist in Agricultural Innovation, the two component leaders for the dairy goat chain project: Mr Manuel Messina, Representative of the Delegation in Bahamas and Ms Viviana Palmieri, from IICA Head Office in Costa Rica. The Flagship Leaders were very pleased with the activities achieved in Trinidad and Tobago thus far towards the support of the development of the dairy goat sector.
IICA in collaboration with the TTGSS, received support from many institutions and the private sector including the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; the University of the West Indies; the Ministry of Health (Veterinary Public Health; Chemistry Food and Drugs; Public Health Divisions); the Authur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business; the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), and the National Flour Mills among others in carrying out these activities.
IICA will further strengthen efforts in 2017 through the continuation of the Chains Flagship project to support the TTGSS and the dairy goat industry for developing the sector.
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