St. Lucia Enhances Livestock Sector with New Bloodlines to Boost Food Security

St. Lucia Enhances Livestock Sector with New Bloodlines to Boost Food Security 2

St. Lucia is poised to revitalize its livestock industry by introducing new bloodlines to enhance food security and support farmers in their post-COVID-19 recovery efforts. A team from the Veterinary and Livestock Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, along with technical officers from the Unleashing the Blue Economy of the Caribbean (UBEC) Project, traveled to the United States on April 19th to select animals for this purpose.

This initiative is part of the broader UBEC Project, a $29 million endeavor funded by the World Bank and executed by St. Lucia’s Ministry of Finance. The project aims to stimulate economic recovery by enhancing marine and coastal resilience within the tourism, fisheries, and waste management sectors.

The new livestock, comprising 154 animals including pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle, are expected to arrive in St. Lucia in the coming weeks. The selection process involved visits to farms across ten states in the US, where the team assessed animals based on breeding standards, pedigree records, and adaptability to St. Lucia’s tropical environment. This meticulous selection ensures the animals are well-suited to their new home and capable of significantly boosting the local livestock sector.

In addition to the introduction of new animal breeds, the UBEC Project will fund minor upgrades to the Volet Agriculture Livestock Centre in Micoud to accommodate the new arrivals. Livestock farmers in St. Lucia will also benefit from a comprehensive training program designed to enhance their skills in nutrition, pasture management, and farm record keeping.

Dean Avril, Livestock Technical Officer for the UBEC Project Implementation Unit, highlighted the thorough nature of the selection process, which included evaluating management practices on the US farms to ensure a smooth transition for the animals to their new environment in St. Lucia.

The animals are currently undergoing a 21-day quarantine period in Miami, Florida, after which they will be shipped to St. Lucia. This initiative not only promises to enhance the genetic diversity and productivity of St. Lucia’s livestock sector but also bolsters the island’s overall food security and economic resilience.

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