The Puerto Rico Agriculture Department’s Administration for the Development of Agricultural Enterprises has allocated $256,000 to promote growth and development in the island’s Small Ruminants production industry.
Agriculture Secretary Carlos Flores described the move as important for the sector “after the Department succeeded for the first time last year, in organizing the sector with a board that now has the ability to work with the agency to set goals that seek to increase the production of milk and meat from small ruminants.”
The measure allocated $231,000 for the purchase of female sheep and goats and their transport to Puerto Rico. This allocation will benefit 22 sheep and goat farmers on the island. The initiative also assigned funds to cover 75 percent of the purchase up to $10,500 per farmer.
The Small Ruminants Industry Development Fund will offer an initial training session about the order on Feb. in the town of Isabela.
“It has come at the right time. The island needs to increase the production of meat and milk from ruminants, especially when getting quality wombs is more difficult for us producers than finding gold,” said agronomist and sheep producer, Ricardo Zapater.
“After the hurricane, our farms were affected and this order will greatly facilitate the possibility of buying new wombs,” he said.
On the other hand, of goat milk producer María Teresa Juan-Urrutia agreed that the order provides a valuable tool to accelerate the process that seeks to address the shortage of goat wombs on the island.