ANIMAL PRODUCTION TO BE ENHANCED

The Ministry of Agriculture?s Animal Health and Production (AH&P) Division will this year look at enhancing and improving goat, sheep and cattle production through the establishment of Multiplication Centres.

They will assist in the supply of breeding stock at suitable locations mainly in the Central, Western and Northern Divisions.

Principal Research Officer Mr Eroni Tamani said, Government had this year allocated $1,020,000 and this will be distributed between all Livestock Research Stations (Koronivia, Sigatoka, Nawaicoba, Mua in Taveuni and the Batiri and Seaqaqa Stations in Macuata).

?All research stations will be involved with research on Feeds and Feeding apart from breed improvement programmes as their primary role. Also, as a progressive service required of them is the provision of superior genetic stock for stocking the Multiplication Centers where interested farmers can source their animals from in the years to come,? Mr Tamani said.

?Fiji needs improve breeds of dairy cattle, sheep and goats, pigs and poultry. Research on feeds and feeding regimes parameters and pastures improvement will be conducted on research stations in around the country,? he added.

Currently, a number of farmers in the Central Division have shown great potential through their achievement in sheep production as they were identified by Government to raise breeding stock for local and overseas market. They contributed enormously to the profession as they had managed to export good quality breeding sheep to Samoa last year.

Mr Tamani said that some of the Ministry staff will undergo training in New Zealand this month for upskilling of their capacity, skills and knowledge on Artificial Insemination (AI) technology.

With regards to the beef and dairy industry, Principal Veterinary Officer Dr Steven Angus said that there is not enough resources to control the two diseases Brucellosis and Tuberculosis which were common in the past and in the present years as well.

?Currently, we are doing very well on Brucellosis which is the problem in the Naitasiri Highlands and managed to reduce the number of diseased cattle from ten infected farms,? Mr Angus.

Mr Angus said the AH&P Division works closely with the Local Government Councils in involving entire the ?municipality for animal welfare and stray dogs eradication.
DEPTFO