The Botanical Gardens was transformed into a mini livestock and poultry farm fair on Sunday, as members of the public came out to view the variety of animals and chickens that were on display, a release from the Ministry of Agriculture said. The event, which was organised by the National Livestock Association (NLA) to celebrate its first anniversary, was dubbed a success.
According to the release, the exhibits included feather foot chickens, senseh fowl, huge pigs, rabbits, massive bulls and goats and the latter two could tip the scales at 1,600 and 350 pounds, respectively. The NLA President, Emmanuel Peters said the aim was to bring a greater awareness of the association’s presence in Antigua and Barbuda and the high quality of animals that are being reared by local livestock farmers.
“It’s like a coming out to the general public; letting everybody know that we have a livestock association and we have very good quality animals that we are developing into larger herds, hopefully to one day sustain the local demands and decrease imports,” he said. Peters said that 90 percent of the animals that were on display were produced by the NLA members.
Meantime, the association’s Vice President, Wentworth Matthew said that the goats were among the most impressive displays on show. “The different breeds — the Boer, the Savanna, we have the local breed as well — and we are trying to mix them…so we will get different breeds from time to time and try to produce healthier meats for the whole of Antigua and Barbuda,” Matthew explained. The NLA has a membership of about 30 farmers and Peters and Matthew have made an appeal for more livestock farmers to join the group. According to Matthew, unity is strength and there are many benefits to becoming members of the association. The NLA meets at the Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters at 7 pm on every second Thursday of each month.
Interested parties can contact him at 779-7359. Peters, meanwhile, said that although the response to the first event is encouraging, they are looking forward to even more support in future activities. He expressed gratitude to Abbott’s Farms and Minister of Agriculture, Dean Jonas for supporting the event by making contributions to the winners.