NEWS

Ministry Works On Reducing Reliance On Imported Meat

He said dairy, beef and lamb are the most imported livestock and products here   The Ministry of Agriculture is working towards achieving strong growth in the local meat and
02 Nov 2016 13:35
Ministry Works On  Reducing Reliance On Imported Meat
Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh.

He said dairy, beef and lamb are the most imported livestock and products here

 

The Ministry of Agriculture is working towards achieving strong growth in the local meat and dairy industry to substitute imported products.

Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh highlighted this while making submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources yesterday.

Mr Singh was responding to Committee member Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki who questioned the programmes in the agriculture ministry to increase self-sufficiency in certain meat products.

He said dairy, beef and lamb are the most imported livestock related products here.

“In the dairy industry, we have some disease issues right now. With tuberculosis and brucellosis, these is affecting the growth of the industry because we are forced to remove infected animals and take them to slaughter houses,” he said.

“Right now we are working on a strategy to introduce more animals hopefully from outside the country as we do not have a carving industry in Fiji.”

Mr Singh said they were working with the New Zealand Dairy Initiative to address some of these challenges.

“While we wish to grow this industry, this is not going to be something that we will be able to completely substitute imported milk from domestic production in the next three to five years,” he said.

“It’s going to be a very steep hill to climb to achieve this domestication of the imported products.”

Mr Singh said in the cattle and lamb industry, they had introduced some more goat and sheep to improve on the genetics that have worsened through the period since they first imported.

“We are building up these industries and we are now lending some animals to different farmers so that they can be impregnated with local breeds of goats and sheep then we are taking this back,” he said.

Mr Singh also highlighted the lack of domestic and foreign investment in our cattle industry.

“In terms of our programmes, we are trying to see how best feasibly and visibly expand these programmes to improve on the domestic production of this beef, lamb, goats and also dairy,” he said.

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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