Belladrum farmers benefit from breeding bull to boost cattle production

Cattle farmers from Belladrum, a village located in Region Five (Mahaica–Berbice) are the latest group of cattle farmers to benefit from the Ministry of Agriculture’s improved genetic material programme.

During a simple exercise held at the Paradise Community Centre ground, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha handed over a breeding bull to the farmers’ group, noting that the government was keen on making the necessary resources available to farmers as part of the government’s efforts to develop both the beef and dairy industry.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

Two weeks ago, His Excellency President Dr. Irfaan Ali hosted a community meeting with residents from Belladrum and other surrounding villages to listen to issues faced in the area. While engaging the Head of State, cattle farmers from Belladrum indicated that they had taken note of the government’s efforts to boost the cattle industry. They said that they were desirous of expanding their herds but needed the necessary genetic material to do so.

While responding to their request, President Ali told the farmers that an animal would be made available to assist with developing their herds.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha while handing over the animal to the farmers from Belladrum

Minister Mustapha while presenting the animal to the farmers said that the government has a proven track record of delivering on commitments made to the citizens of the country.

“We are here to deliver on a promise made by the President to the farmers of this area. Every farmer from the area must have access to the animal. A system has to be set up to that every farmer can benefit. When you met with the President you requested a breeding bull and we are here, just two weeks after President Ali made that commitment to deliver it. When the President and the government make commitments, we ensure we deliver,” he noted.

The breeding bull that was handed over to the farmers

He also told farmers about some of the plans and programmes that are currently ongoing to develop the sector in the region.

“Region Five is slated for major development in the agriculture sector. Almost 90% of the people in Region Five depend on Agriculture. The government has expended large amounts of money on the MMA Scheme and other parts o the region. This year alone, we’ll complete four farm-to-market roads in the region so that farmers can have better access to their farmlands. New pastures are being developed. The GLDA is currently working with IICA on a pasture development programme where grass seeds were brought in from Brazil to assist with improving existing and developing new pastures.

Minister Mustapha while engaging farmers from Belladrum

The GLDA also secured 64 breeding bulls from Miami to develop our breeding programme. We are also doing artificial insemination in both cattle and small ruminants around the country. The ministry is also engaging Brazil to develop a programme to conduct embryo transfer. So, you can see clearly that the government is working to develop the sector,” Minister Mustapha said.

The minister further disclosed that Cabinet recently approved a project valued at approximately $700 million that will see the construction of a state-of-the-art abattoir at Onverwagt.

Additionally, Minister Mustapha told the farmers that the ministry will also assist them with their land preparation and drainage and irrigation needs, noting that when farmers are empowered to produce, both the country and the economy benefit.