The Princes Town Small Ruminant Project was developed primarily to alleviate poverty in a rural community. The poverty rate in the Princes Town area is 49.3%, which places that community among the poorest in Trinidad and Tobago. Sheep production and marketing was used as the vehicle for rural transfonnation through micro-enterprise development. Thirty families from the community were each supplied with an average of four ewes, adequate animal housing, feed, veterinary and other ancillary supplies necessary for the successful rearing of sheep. Participants were trained in basic sheep husbandry, sheep marketing and agribusiness management. The group formed a co-operative that would be responsible for purchasing weaners from members, fattening them in a feedlot and marketing the animals thereafter. After one year, 20 families or 67% of participants remained with the project. A total of 93 animals were distributed and fifty-three lambs were born during the first six months of the project. The frustration level of the remaining participants has however increased in recent times due to internal problems in the NGO, intermittent funding and the slow rate of return on their investment. It is clear that unforeseen problems contributed to some of the frustrations seen, however, given the expectations of the participants, it would appear that sheep production alone may be insufficient to transform the socioeconomic circumstances of the rural poor in a timeframe consistent with their needs. It is therefore recommended that this activity be coupled with the production of cash crops that will provide income in the short term and improve the nutritional status of the family while the sheep production enterprise is maturing.


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