Attempts are being made to find sources of fresh, clean fodder to make available for the island’s livestock, amidst challenges posed by ash fall from the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This was the assurance given by Senior Veterinary Officer with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Mark Trotman, during a press conference today on Barbados’ COVID-19 situation and efforts to clean up the ash from the volcano.
Acknowledging that the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) was working assiduously with members to determine the level of stock and how this could be shared to ensure those who don’t have may get some, Dr. Trotman said: “We’re looking at trying to import some sort of fodder substitute to feed the animals. This is all actively what we’re working on now.”
He further pointed out that efforts were on to undertake a count of the island’s livestock population, and called on farmers to participate.
“One of the challenges that we have is that we’re trying to get information on how many livestock we have on the island. We don’t have a good solid record of the population. And I would really encourage farmers, backyard farmers, hobbyist farmers, who may not necessarily be formal members of an agricultural society, to contact the Barbados Agricultural Society and make themselves known, because we can only help you if we know that you exist.”
“We can only cater for you and know how much fodder we need to bring in and how much we need to distribute, if we know who you are,” he urged.
The official, who works with the Veterinary Services in the Pine, St. Michael, also divulged that analytical tests were being done on the ash to find out how toxic it is.
He added that the Government Analytical Services would be doing a number of tests to determine the composition of the ash, something that was going to be very important to allow them to anticipate what kind of problems exist.