A number of livestock farmers are now recipients of high quality feed to provide better nutrition for their animals all year round, but specifically during the drought season where grazing areas are limited.
The initiative is a result of the Australian Commission Direct Aid Programme Project with key support from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
The project addresses the resilience of protein food systems and community food and nutrition security for livestock animals in Antigua and Barbuda.
During a brief presentation held earlier this week, CARDI’s representative for Antigua and Barbuda and Montserrat, Mr. Paul Lucas, explained that increasing the range of high quality forages is very timely taking into consideration the effects that climate change can have on plant production.
“All of this is to increase the resilience as it relates to climate change and all the other eventualities that may happen,” he stated.
National Specialist for IICA, Mr. Craig Thomas explained that the whole project came about after the vast devastation of Hurricane Irma in 2017, and the effects which it had on Barbuda and its livestock sector.
“We went to Barbuda and we saw the need for drought tolerant forages after we saw the devastation of Barbuda and the quality of animals they had,” he explained.
As part of the project, a 1-acre plot of forage was set up in Barbuda of green panic and Chrysopogan, and the team is currently awaiting feedback on this variety of forage.
Thomas further disclosed that the irrigation materials which were ordered to start the next phase of the project is now on island and once land preparation phase is completed, installation should begin by mid-June.
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