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Helping Our Dairy And Beef Industry Grow

Helping Our Dairy And Beef  Industry Grow
July 22
11:35 2017

Could embryo transfer technology be the answer for our beef and diary industry?

At least those in the industry think that the Ministry of Agriculture is on the right track.

Currently Fiji still imports milk and beef products from New Zealand and Australia despite continuing efforts to increase local production and self sufficiency.

The demand for milk products is still high and it will take time for Fiji to increase production significantly.

Coupled with this, the effects of the brucellosis and tuberculosis disease are still widespread.

In the past the Ministry had imported some dairy cattle. These animals were successfully distributed to the farms to maintain productivity.

Enter the biotechnical way of breeding both diary and beef breeds.

The Ministry explained that biotechnology such as embryo transfer is a more cost-effective alternative than importing cattle into the country.

Phase 1 will cost Government $500,000. This is a key phase where new genetics in the form of embryos will be imported and a nucleus herd will be established at the Government Station for Breed Improvement Program, the Agriculture ministry stated.

Plans to have a modern agriculture sector by 2020 seem farfetched considering the challenges on the ground. But the Ministry has set the 2020 Policy Agenda with the aim to strengthen the agriculture sector.

High on the agenda is the use of modern farming technology, equipment and inputs. These include use of mechanization, biotechnology, innovations and better farming practices which will increase productivity, profitability and food security.

If in three year’s time these plans are implemented, Fiji should be well on the recovery road to meet the local demand in both the diary and beef industry.

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