Why would the islands of the Caribbean import sheep from countries like Australia and New Zealand? Maybe because that is how it has always been done? That said, perhaps there needs to be a change. Sourcing black belly sheep from other Caribbean Islands was the proposal in June of 2022 by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Motley. She was hoping to get 1,000 sheep transported to Guyana within a month or two of the address in June. We are pleased to report that she has done just that.
The Black Belly Sheep Program was launched by President Dr. Mohammed Irfaan Ali to build the agricultural program in Guyana. Within 48 hours of leaving the shores of Barbados, Guyana will have received the shipment of black-bellied sheep, with another load to arrive in the following months.
The Impact of the Program
And why is this program of importance? One hundred farmers have already signed up to be a part of the agricultural growth in Guyana. This expansion effort could catapult the island nation to the capital of the Caribbean for livestock production. This would mean upwards of US$48 million in revenue annually for the islands participating in the efforts. Not to mention, it would keep the jobs and monies local benefiting the entire Caribbean Island area.
Additionally, the Agricultural Minister noted, “The president has instructed that 30 percent of women and 20 percent of youth must be involved in the project, not only men.”
Getting the youth involved provides not only income but purpose and a future for the young generations of Guyana and beyond.
In summary, not only will the import benefit Guyana and Barbados with income, farms, jobs, and locally sourced livestock. It will also improve the future generations of the Caribbean islands and keep the monies local. And that is an excellent endeavor for the people of the islands- any way you look at it.
CITED: dpi.gov.gy, radiojamaicanewsonline.com, Caribbean.loopnews.com