Today’s Editorial January 26: Agriculture stocks look good

Where’s the beef?

Right alongside the new pigs and goats that have been brought to the Cayman Islands to replenish what Ivan took away.

Minister of Agriculture Kurt Tibbetts has made an island-wide assessment on Grand Cayman of the livestock and reports things are looking up.

Those who raise cattle, goats, pigs or any other livestock in the Cayman Islands know how hard it was to keep stock fed and healthy after Hurricane Ivan hit our shores in September 2004.

Much of Grand Cayman’s grazing lands were damaged by salt water flooding, which meant farmers were challenged to find ways to keep the animals fed.

More often than not, the animals had to be slaughtered because of a lack of feed.

Those who were able to keep their livestock healthy did so through Government intervention and a feeding programme that reduced the cost of feed.

It was a huge help.

But with the necessary slaughter of the animals after the storm, the amount of livestock on Grand Cayman was low.

Once again the Government stepped in and last Thursday a large shipment of prime, purebred livestock arrived on the Island.

This new stock will help genetically improve the stock that is already here.

Eventually some of the animals from this new stock will be slaughtered and sold to grocery stores where people who live and visit the Cayman Islands are encouraged to buy local meat.

Supporting farmers by purchasing local meat is good for this country’s economy.

So good that there is now an increased interest in livestock farmers from professional people – not professional farmers.

Livestock farming is becoming another lucrative way to invest in the Cayman Islands and make a profit.

It is also good to see that younger farmers are getting involved.

Cayman needs to be a self-sustaining country; we all learned that lesson after Hurricane Ivan.

Raising our own beef, pork and goat along with the cassava, breadfruit, yams and pumpkins that grow in abundance helps ensure that we can feed ourselves if some disaster occurs that stops shipments of food from coming to our shores.

If you’re a meat eater and haven’t already tried the local fare from the area grocery stores you should.

Not only will you be pleasantly surprised, but you’ll also be supporting the local economy.