An analysis of the status of the Caribbean small ruminant industry has shown that the industry has come a long way from the time of sheep and goats introduction in the 15th and 16lh centuries and the realisation in the 1970s and 1980s of their economic potential. It is endowed with quality genetic resources some of which are exported, contributes to about 20% of mutton and chevon demands and benefits from some support and incentives. However, it is still a relatively young and unsophisticated industry, the continued development of which is mitigated by lack of or inconsistent policy on land availability and tenure, water use, praedial larceny, dog prédation, and post harvest controls, lack of marketing and other pertinent databases, insufficient numbers of appropriate germplasm, lack of diversity in production systems, enterprises and value added products, inadequate technology and information and communication delivery and the need for continuous human resources development. R&D strategies have been identified to deal with these factors and together with the collaboration and cooperation of stakeholders, and particularly the empowerment of producers to take active part in product development, processing and marketing alongside traditional processers and marketers it is posited that the industry will be on the path to accelerated development.


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