The Ministry of Agriculture is reassuring the public that it is committed to protecting the local industry and steps are being taken to resuscitate the livestock sector.
The reassurance comes in the wake of recent news reports that Grenada is expected to receive its largest ever shipment of livestock from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which was negotiated by a local businessman.
The ministry acknowledges that the Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines provides for the trade between both islands in livestock and agricultural commodities, in a bid to enhance trade in commodities originating in member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
In keeping with the provisions of the MOU, the Ministry of Agriculture will not seek to restrict trade, but it has an obligation to protect local farmers and to ensure that food safety requirements are met, in accordance with the regulations governing the importation of animals.
The Ministry of Agriculture recognises that there is a shortage of livestock in Grenada to meet the demands of the festive season. Therefore, a permit will be issued for a quota of animals from St. Vincent. The Ministry of Agriculture through the Veterinary and Livestock Division is responsible for granting permits for the importation of livestock and meat products into Grenada.
As part of its efforts to resuscitate the livestock sector, the Ministry of Agriculture will develop and implement a livestock policy; introduce new genetic stock at the Laura Livestock Station; strengthen the small ruminant programme at the Limlair Livestock Station in Carriacou and reintroduce the artificial insemination programme among other ongoing initiatives.