Published: Thursday 31 October 1996

A revival of the dairy industry of this Caribbean island, which would provide economic self-reliance to its inhabitants, is in the offing. An eight-week study conducted by the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat disclosed that the industry could do with some propping exercises and has developed a milk production enhancement plan in cooperation with Jamaica's ministry of agriculture.

Identifying non-productive areas, it blamed poor pasture management, dependency on expensive imported cattle feed, dwindling herds and the lack of an assured market for the dairy industry's poor performance.

The revitalisation plan aims to increase the number of dairy cows and to improve productivity. To achieve a significant growth in local production, the numbers of cows should go up by 50,000 to 60,000 in the next seven years. A dairy board is also to be constituted along with a dairy farmers' federation.

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