THE POTENTIAL for exporting cattle genetic and pasture and forage species to China has Don McGlashan reiterating his call for renewed investment in research and development.
McGlashan, the director general in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, told members of the Jamaica Red Poll Breeders' Society last Thursday that Jamaica's participation in the forum for agriculture ministers from the Caribbean, China, and Latin America, hosted by China in June, had unveiled the potential for what could be an economic bonanza.
The director general and Minister Roger Clarke were members of the Jamaican team which delivered a PowerPoint presentation at the event attended by participants from 22 countries, and where Jamaica impressed.
"Each country was given eight minutes to make a presentation and in our second slide that showcased the Jamaica Black and the Jamaica Red poll, we offered cattle genetics; you could have seen the collective nod of the 21 countries," McGlashan shared with the cattle farmers.
Meanwhile, with praedial larceny being such major setback for local agriculture, with some $6 billion worth of livestock and crops lost to thieves each year, Uruguay's presentation, which promoted the country as having the best cattle traceability system in Latin America and the Caribbean, caught the interest of the Jamaicans.
McGlashan said he couldn't help but ask how Uruguay had accomplished this feat and the answer had some resonance for Jamaican policymakers.
He explained: "The appropriate laws and the enforcement of them (was effective) and it didn't happen overnight. It took eight years for them to be where they are right now, benchmarking an international standard."