Belmopan -The Livestock Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project, participated in the 54th Caribbean Food Crops Society Poster Presentation along with international presenters on July 10th, 2018 at the Princess Ramada Hotel in Belize City.
The unit’s poster showcased the Breeding Certification System on Small Ruminants and highlighted the main steps of the certification program, which includes the protocol for registration and certification of the breeding stocks, the breed types, the partners comprising the Certification Committee as well as defined the blood registration for up to three generation pedigree.
The Sheep Project, funded by Republic of China (Taiwan) in cooperation with Government of Belize, has been actively engaged in implementing the project’s main goals. Since its inception in December 2015, the Sheep Project has completed some of its main goals, which include the expansion of the infrastructure for the National Sheep and Goat Breeding Center housing facility, pasture and protein bank expansion, and the introduction of new sheep breed genetics from the United States of America.
Additionally, the Sheep Project has contributed to the development of the Sheep and Goat Certification Program for the sheep industry in Belize, specifically to assist the acceleration of genetic improvement, credibility and value of breeds at sheep-breeding farms countrywide. For this to be effective, the Belize Sheep/Goat Certification Committee was tasked with the responsibility to appraise the registration and certification, the application documents, review and issuance of certificates.
68 imported sheep of three different breeds, namely Katahdin, Dorper and Barbados Blackbelly, have been granted certification. 19 young lambs, offspring from the local basal registered ewes, also qualified and are confirmed for registration.
The Government of Belize with the support of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), through the Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project, is committed to improving the overall genetics in sheep through the importation and introduction of quality breeding stock, and the installment of a certification program to ensure the quality of the breeding stocks remain pure for up to three generations pedigree.