Jamaica currently imports between 60 and 70 percent of its meat consumption and 90% of its dairy product consumption. With less than 15% of registered Jamaican farmers engaged in the production of livestock, putting a serious dent in the importation of meat and meat products requires serious investment. The development of small ruminant agro-parks in Middlesex utilizing lands previously mined for bauxite will allow for increased production and productivity as ruminants tend to strive best in southern parishes on the plains that experience variable (low) rainfall and dry vegetation. The parishes of Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth have natural pastures suitable for grazing and
ruminants developed under strictly organic conditions opens the opportunity for profitability in the growing organic/healthy market segment.
Jamaica’s current chevon and mutton consumption is largely satisfied by Australia and New Zealand with imports totalling close to 2.5 million KGs in 2017 valuing $851,982 US worth of chevon products and $8,947,747 US of mutton and lamb products. Local production covers on average 15 % of the total national demand. To directly substitute these imports herd sizes need to increase by 250,000
ewes and 30,000 does. The Small Ruminant Agro-Park will provide investors with:
- Sharing economy including security to help mitigate against praedial larceny
- Quality management systems
- Facilitation of movement along the value chain (slaughtering, processing, marketing)
- Technical on-site support
- Traceability improvement
- Integrated livestock production
- Improved small ruminant genetics
The market potential is remarkable and yearning for investment. Commercial small ruminant investment requires an estimated initial capital outlay of 4.5 million JMD.