A new policy and strategic plan is being developed for the livestock sub-sector in Saint Lucia. Stakeholders from within the livestock industry met recently to discuss a new focus for livestock development for the next ten to fifteen years. The discussions were spearheaded by the veterinary and livestock services division of the Department of Agriculture, with the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under a project sponsored by the India Brazil and South Africa trust fund entitled “Poverty Reduction in Saint Lucia through livestock development.” Dr. Cedric Lazarus, FAO Livestock Development Officer, said the livestock policy and strategic plan will provide guidance to Ministry of Agriculture officials, as to the direction that the stakeholders of the livestock sector would like.
The new policy and strategic plan is the latest addition to the IBSA project and was included approximately one year ago. The plan will focus on a number of areas including developing value chains for each of the livestock products such as poultry, pork and egg production. The plan will focus also on strengthening animal health systems to prevent and control diseases and mortality in animals. Vernon Valmont, National Consultant for the IBSA project in Saint Lucia, said the project centers on maximizing production. A consultant was brought in to assist in developing the new policy and strategic plan. A draft of the policy has already been developed and will soon be tabled for discussion before submission to Cabinet. The same is being done for the livestock strategy. The new policy and strategic plan will suggest to the government the direction for the sub-sector over the medium to long term.