Guyana receives first batch of black belly sheep from Barbados Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

Guyana has received 132 black belly sheep from Barbados, with another 868 scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks to months.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley tweeted:

“Today, the first… Black Belly Sheep arrived safely in Guyana from Barbados, as a part of the Black Belly Sheep Project. The next shipment will be to Suriname. Improved food security continues to be a key area of focus for Barbados, as we work with our regional neighbours.”

30 per cent will be going to women, 20 per cent young people

This initial batch consisting of 112 ewes and 20 rams forms part of the 1,000 animals that are promised to Guyana.

According to Guyana’s Ministry of Agriculture, these animals form part of a joint initiative between the governments of Guyana and Barbados to develop a regional brand of sheep to reduce the importation of lamb and mutton products into the region.

While speaking to members of the media, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha stressed that “this is one of the ways that we are working to reduce the food import bill.”

He said his hope is that all the remaining sheep can arrive in the next two shipments. This “special programme” is also expected to yield a new crossbreed between Barbados’ Black Belly Sheep and Guyana’s local sheep, and to create a brand of Black Belly Sheep in Guyana. “We are looking to work in those two directions as a matter of fact, as the President rightly said when he launched this programme, 30 per cent will be going to women, 20 per cent young people and also we are now involving the differently-abled and that group too. So all those groups will be involved in the rearing of Black Belly, to develop this brand.”

As it pertains to the plans for the sheep that just arrived, Minister Mustapha said that the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will be tasked with weaning the sheep and ensuring that they adjust to Guyana’s climate as well as introducing them to their new diets.

He also said that works are currently moving apace in Region Five to prepare pens for the additional remaining sheep that are scheduled to arrive in Guyana.