Efforts to address poor production levels of sheep and goat
An extensive review of our sheep and goat industry has established a lack of genetics, management and nutrition being the core reason for poor production levels. The review was conducted by an Australia farmer who is the managing director of Farmworld International, Graham Reimers. Mr Reimers has received our Government’s support to increase livestock numbers and ultimately reduce imports. He explained Fiji produces less than 10 per cent of domestic consumption of sheep and goat meat while more than 90 per cent are imported from Australia and New Zealand.
Turning around and nutrition
In order to address the issues leading to poor production, Mr Reimers said they will introduce the latest variety of wonder graze for feeding. “This one element has the potential of totally revolutionalising the grazing for livestock in Fiji forever,” he said.
This whole initiative is part of the Fiji Goat and Sheep Development project launched the past week. Mr Reimers said they were going roll out training programmes starting from grass root level for both sheep and goat farmers and Agriculture Ministry staff. “To be quite honest, at the moment it is the case of the blind leading the blind,” he emphasised. “That is why we have not had the progress which we should have had in the past ten years but that is about to change. “We need to be able to produce products, prime lamb products, equivalent to that of Australia and New Zealand.
“It is not difficult and we would also like to increase the sheep and goat farmers throughout Fiji.” Mr Reimers said they will also address the nutrition problem with the introduction of the new variety of Vaivai tree (Leucaena Leucocephala). “Leucaena is a tropical legume, high in protein, extremely nutritional and it will make a massive difference to live stock farmers here in Fiji.” The project eventually is being aimed to double profits for sheep and goat farmers as well as make this a lucrative industry to invest in.