Caribbean Small Ruminants Advisory Assistance

The Situation

In 2015, Prime Consulting International Ltd was contracted by the New Zealand Aid Programme of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide technical assistance for a project to develop the capacity of the small ruminant sector across the Caribbean region.

The project is being implemented in association with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and will be completed in September 2017.

The target countries are Jamaica, St Lucia, Guyana, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Dominica.

The Process

The goal of the project is to increase small ruminant production and productivity within the target countries.

The project is designed to develop capacity in animal husbandry, support breeding programmes and enable improved information sharing and coordination.  

Medium-term outcomes sought are improved awareness and increased application of best practice animal husbandry by farmers.

Short-term outcomes to be achieved are:

  • Increased training capability of extension officers in animal husbandry best practice;
  • Enhanced artificial insemination and embryo transfer capacity in target countries’ Ministries of Agriculture; and
  • Increased information available on the small ruminants sector.

Prime is working in close collaboration with CARDI and other stakeholders, including the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Ministries of Agriculture and other local partners.

Technical support is being provided by short term in-country deployments of technical and training personnel, as well as by remote means.

The Outcome

Four specific outputs will be produced as a result of this work:

  • A Small Ruminants Production Manual, detailing good practices for small ruminant production across the Caribbean region;
  • A demonstration and training centre, to be located at Hounslow Station in Jamaica.  The centre will be used for practical demonstrations of best practice set out in the manual and training activities for regional trainers and extension officers, lead farmers and smallholder farmers;
  • A pool of technicians trained in artificial insemination and veterinarians trained in embryo transfer across the various Agriculture Ministries of the target countries; and
  • Web-based tools to facilitate information sharing, deployed primarily through mobile phone applications for ease of access by farmers and advisors.

Prime team members involved

  • Alan Pearson
  • Chris Asby
  • Grant Jeffrey
  • Mandy Williams
  • Inputs also from Julia Aspinall, Genetic Gains Ltd (New Zealand based animal breeding specialist)