Government Not Looking To Force Farmers Out Of Business

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Dr. Dennis Blackman (FP)??

Government has no intention of competing with or forcing any goat farmers out of business.

This is according to Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer, Crop Production, in the Ministry of Agriculture of Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. Dennis Blackman, who stated that the Ministry had imported goats for the sole purposes of research and breeding kids for local farmers.

"Primarily we wanted to use the goats for breeding research, determining milk quantities, characterisation of the breeds and so on. Milk was really not important to us; it was a byproduct of the research… So the milk, we either have to pasteurise it or we have to sell it quickly to the public and it took a lot of our time to do that," he said.

Speaking during the Ministry of Agriculture’s town hall meeting last night at the Alexandra School in St. Peter, Dr. Blackman explained that the Ministry had initially made a suggestion to Mr. Hoad around 1995 to purchase all the milk from the research project. However, for a number of reasons, he was not interested.

"Very shortly after that he [Mr. Hoad] went out of business and sold his herd to a young gentleman. We broached the same subject with the young gentleman and he agreed. He started to purchase all the milk produced by the Ministry of Agriculture in bulk. That took a lot of the load off the ministry, unfortunately he went out of business [too]," the agricultural official said.

Dr. Blackman suggested that the Ministry could again approach Mr. Hoad about buying the Ministry’s goat’s milk at a reasonable price and marketing the product, so the Ministry could concentrate on its research.

andre.skeete@barbados.gov.bb

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