Why CARDI’s Small Ruminants Programme needed to wean Jamaica of Mutton Imports

“This project …has facilitated the further rehabilitation of the Hounslow Demonstration and Training Centre as a pilot training site for the region, by improving the carrying capacity of the lands to support the Government’s expanded small ruminants… inclusive of locally improved goat and sheep breeding and establishing demo housing as part of the training programme,”

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, J C Hutchinson during the launch of the Caribbean Small Ruminants Capacity Building Programme

Goats are now back on the menu or at least the National Farming Agenda, thanks to Mothers Enterprises, owners of the Mother’s Fast Food Establishment.

They’ve stumbled upon yet another hit, this time the Champion Patty (Kelly, 2016, May 31) made with real Curry Goat. Their previous hit, the Pork Patty (Deer, 2015, December 12), is made with Pork sourced from CopperWood Pork, who have been on a drive via their Know Your Pork Campaign (Serju. 2016, May 18) to gain the support of Pork among Jamaicans.

Why CARDI's Small Ruminants Programme needed to wean Jamaica of Mutton Imports (2)

However, no such campaign exists for Mutton, the meat produced by goats and sheep farmers in Jamaica. To this end, the Caribbean Small Ruminants Capacity Building Programme (The Jamaica Observer, 2016, June 21) was launched on the week of Monday June 13th 2016 by CARDI (Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute) along with the joint input of the agriculture ministries of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

The program, like the Latin American Small Ruminants Programme, gets its seed funding from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and the Government of New Zealand. The Caribbean Small Ruminants Capacity Building Programme has the following countries with a stake in Goat farming:

  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines

So why is there a sudden interest in the production of Mutton and chevron by the Agriculture Ministries of these respective countries?

CARDI and Goats – Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago concerned about Mutton Imports

Clearly the production of Mutton to feed Caribbean people is a growing concern in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

We’re being swamped with meat imports, especially chicken (Deer, 2016 January 13) via Fast Food Establishments, with US Pork Producers (Jones, 2016, May 22) looking to come to Jamaica as well. But there is a growing this will result in the introduction of antibiotic-resistant superbacteria (Deer, 2016, July, 6) to the Caribbean food Industry and to the population.

This due to the farming practices of Americans who grow animals on large scale in cramped conditions and feed them on offal laced with antibiotics to fight disease and infection, all in a bid to keep prices low.

Hence the need for a pooled effort by the Farmers in the Caribbean Small Ruminants Capacity Building Programme to boost production so as to reduce the influx of imported mutton and chevron to a minimum.

Why CARDI's Small Ruminants Programme needed to wean Jamaica of Mutton Imports (1)

A part of the program involves doing research into developing standard farming methods at the Hounslow Animal Research Centre as well as training some eighty (80) participants to make products such as:

  • Shoes
  • Cheese from Goats milk
  • Leather clothing
  • Fertilizer from Goat droppings

Eventually, the Caribbean can become self-sufficient in the production of imported mutton and chevron. And yes, more Fast food companies using local mutton to make products like Mothers Enterprises making Curry Goat Patty and other goat related products.


  1. Deer, L. (2015, December 12). Why Mother’s Pork Patty a hit in 2016 as Pork is now Popular. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/why-mothers-pork-patty-a-hit-in-2016-as-pork-is-now-popular/
  2. Deer, L. (2016, January 13). How Min. of Agriculture Chicken Importation, Jamaica Broilers and Caribbean Broilers production to ease 2016. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/01/Ministry-Agriculture-Chicken-Importation-2016-Chicken-Shortage.html
  3. Serju. C. (2016, May 18). Know Your Pork – CB Moves to Educate Jamaicans about the Other White Meat. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20160518/know-your-pork-cb-moves-educate-jamaicans-about-other-white-meat
  4. Jones, R. (2016, May 22). Hogwash! – US Wants Cut Of Local Pork Market But Jamaican Pig Farmers Say No. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160522/hogwash-us-wants-cut-local-pork-market-jamaican-pig-farmers-say-no
  5. Kelly, D. (2016, May 31). Mother’s Strikes Again With The Curry Goat Patty. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160531/mothers-strikes-again-curry-goat-patty
  6. The Jamaica Observer. (2016, June 21). Regional programme launched to increase goat, sheep meat production. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Regional-programme-launched-to-increase-goat–sheep-meat-production-_64531
  7. Deer, L. (2016, July, 6). How US Pork Imports due to Jamaican Pork Shortage will introduce Antibiotic Resistant Superbacteria to Jamaica. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/07/US-Pork-Imports-Antibiotic-Resistant-Superbacteria-Jamaican-Pork-Shortage.html

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