‘The world doesn’t owe you a thing!’ - Dr Amiel blasts breeders for failure to develop beef industry
A senior agriculturalist last Wednesday blasted members of three cattle breeders associations – Jamaica Red, Jamaica Black and Jamaica Brahman – for their failure to develop the beef industry in a sustainable way and an unwillingness to make demands on the Government, which would be to their benefit.
Manager Corporate Affairs with the Caribbean Broilers Group, Dr Keith Amiel, used the joint annual general meeting of the breed societies at Minard Estate, Brown’s Town, St Ann, to voice his displeasure at their piecemeal approach to development.
He accused them of trying to focusing only on developing pure-bred cattle, while ignoring the overall beef industry.
“It should have been a select part of the industry that does that, the rest of the industry goes to produce beef for the world at large, and closing this meeting, you’re congratulating yourselves on your breeding society and leaving out about three-quarters of what needs to be done.
“What you need is a cattle industry association which extends way beyond pure-bred breeding. You should have been in the prime minister’s office demanding a 1,000 acres of Bernard Lodge, which is being given away as housing, because that can produce your hay, your silage and can support a feed lot to fatten your weaners,” he declared.
Dr Amiel continued his assault on the ad hoc approach taken by the cattle farmers and reminded them of their responsibilities as business operators.
“You’ve kept silent, the world doesn’t owe you a living. You have to assume responsibility for the whole beef industry and that is not only from research and development, but through multiplying, through better pasture management, through better processing. To teaching the population to eat beef and the forms in which they can eat it and to excite them to do it, none of that is present in this meeting.
Little meetings won’t cut it
“We are here worrying about how much I going get fi me one cow. Until we can create a cattle industry association, you just going to have these little meetings and it won’t happen.
“In the political change from Independence, the one-cutlass, one-vote strategy involved a man and a half-acre of land. I need a cattle farm with 3,000 acres to make it profitable, and that is not in the political thinking at all and will not be in it unless they have a cattle industry core to challenge them and demand that they be in it. This meeting is ending without you touching on the main things to do to keep you viable.”
Dr Amiel reminded the beef cattle farmers that in the last three years, global consumption of artificial beef has gone from five per cent to 15 per cent and being used by all the major fast-food restaurants across the world.
“In other words, they are making burgers from vegetable matter created as beef, and it’s taking the market. So it no use you sit and cry ‘poor me’.”