BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — “In the past, Bayford’s Livestock Centre had lots of livestock and was used as a place to travel for picnics and field trips,” explained Director of Agriculture, Melvin James. “Over time it dwindled until it was almost closed.”
James explained plans that call for Bayford’s to be revived into Centre of Excellence by turning it into a breeding farm.
“We are promoting the idea that instead of farmers having to worry about raising young weaners, and babies, they can purchase them at Bayford’s,” he said. “We are thinking in terms of sheep, goats, pigs and cattle; especially beef cattle.”
James said that most of the cattle on St. Kitts came from milk stock, whereas the cattle in Nevis were from beef stock.
“Now the idea is for us to switch over, and both islands will use meat animals because we have stopped milking cattle for a while,” said James. “Part of the plan to revive Bayford’s includes rehabilitating the pastures.
“Many of them have shrubs and trees which have to be removed,” he said. “You re-establish the pastures, use improved grass, and host and stock a number of high performing sheep and also cattle so that farmers can come. If they want 10 young ones they can purchase them and rear them up to the point that they should be slaughtered.
“Farmers should move away from keeping animals for more than eight- to 10-years because they are aesthetically pleasing,” explained James. “We want to encourage a business concept in our farmers. A pig should be slaughtered within eight months.”
James noted that as the Ministry suggests new concepts to farmers. Farmers will realise that Bayford’s will play a pivotal role in reducing their stress in caring for young animals. Hopefully reviving Bayford’s will make it more profitable for them to be in business.