‘Black Belly Sheep’ initiative to roll out shortly, 850 sheep received to date – Min. Mustapha

The Ministry of Agriculture will be rolling out the Black Belly Sheep programme shortly as 850 of the livestock have been received to date.

This was disclosed by Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha during an interview on the sidelines of an event on Monday.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

Guyana recently received an additional 300 sheep from Barbados and is expecting the remaining 100 to arrive soon.

This specific breed is primarily raised for meat and other high-demand by-products and Guyana has enough land, suitable climate, and all other requirements for increasing the production of the sheep.

“I am hoping within a few weeks from now we can get that but we’ll start to roll out the programme shortly. I will not wait until the 100 arrive. We have close to about 850 now in the country,” the minister stated.

Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), Dr. Dwight Walrond is working along with farmers to ensure the smooth roll out of the programme.

The first flock of black belly sheep arrived in Guyana last year

“Dr. Walrond is working because we already have several farmers who would have registered and who want to get in the programme,” Minister Mustapha informed.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali in March 2022 launched the programme in Region Five with an estimated $600 million (US$3 million) investment by the administration.

In August 2022, the ministry received 132 sheep which included 112 ewes and 20 rams from Barbados, which is part of a collaboration between the two countries to build a regional brand of sheep that will decrease the import of lamb and mutton products into CARICOM.

It will add to the country and the region’s efforts to minimise the Caribbean’s almost US$5 billion food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.