(PRESS RELEASE) – The Agriculture Ministry moves forward with plans to boost the efficiency of Livestock services and the livestock sector on the island. The transition, having started with the closure of the Beausejour Livestock Station late last year, has seen the relocation of cattle and other small ruminants to the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College Farm in Dennery.
A site visit to Volet, Micoud where the new Livestock Station is to be erected was convened this week to evaluate the preparations for works to be undertaken in phase one of the project.
Special Projects Coordinator of the Ministry of Agriculture, Eden Compton says once established, the focus will be on assisting livestock farmers and on growing the livestock industry in tangible ways. It is expected that breeding stock will be produced for farmers, enabling them to multiply and sell to butchers when there is a meat processing facility. Animal health advisory and treatment services will be provided by livestock extension officers and veterinarians to facilitate improved livestock production. Quarantine officers and veterinary public health officers will also be stationed at the Volet Livestock Station to allow timely inspection of imported meat, and to carry out ante- and postmortem inspections after slaughtering, and wholesomeness to ensure all food safety requirements are met.
“The old station at Beausejour basically outlived its usefulness,” Mr. Compton said. “It was closed in 2019 for a number of reasons: Firstly, the DSH Peart of the Caribbean Project that is being implemented in the south of the island and secondly, the Department of Agriculture felt that a better location should be identified to establish a livestock station, and that is why Volet was chosen. On the other hand at Beausejour, the buildings are pretty old and all the walls are very porous: the foundation and the walls are moldy and not suitable for housing staff. So, I think the opportunity presented itself and the Department of Agriculture grabbed that opportunity to identify a more suitable location to establish a station.”
The Volet Livestock Station will be a state-of-the-art facility built on 101 acres of land. Phase one of the project will see the development of about 30 acres.
“ So all that you are seeing here today is basically Phase one which include the construction of the roads and drainage infrastructure, the construction of two swine units, a fattening unit and a maternity unit; the construction of a rabbitry, two small ruminant pens, a warehouse for storage for feed and equipment, and a building for the stockmen; these are the workers who will be taking care of the animals. And in this budget, though not enough, there will be fencing of the property,” said Mr. Compton.
Phase One of the project will be completed at a cost of EC$5.3 million.