Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dermon Spence, says that there has been an increasing demand for livestock products globally, with a projected 22 per cent increase in milk production by 2027.
He was speaking at the opening of a training session in Livestock Breeding Strategies and Selection Principles, hosted by the ministry in collaboration with Lumin Consulting at the Ministry’s New Kingston office on Monday, December 2.
Spence said data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) indicated that growing populations, rising affluence and urbanisation are translating into increased demand for livestock products, particularly in developing countries.
“In fact, global demand is projected to increase by 70 per cent to feed an estimated population of 9.6 billion by 2050,” Spence said.
He added that the increase in global demand has impacted the world price of milk, making the sector more attractive for local farmers and local producers, as the price of skimmed milk on the international market has equalled that of local fresh milk.
Noting that Jamaica imports US$52 million or J$7.2 billion worth of dairy products annually, Spence said the country’s goal must be to reduce the import bill.
“Therefore, this training session is quite timely and is a very important initiative as we seek to ramp up the production and productivity in our livestock industry and, in particular, milk production,” he said.
The ministry said the training, which will run from December 2 to 6 and December 16 to 20, is aimed at strengthening the technical capabilities in livestock breeding and selection strategies of technicians within the industry, and also to support the development of the dairy sub-sector in Jamaica.