(Jamaica Gleaner) MINISTER WITH responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw has praised the owners of the St Mary-based Crafton Farms on their high-tech operations, which he said can serve as a blueprint for the ministry’s plans for the ruminant sector.
Speaking during a tour of the facility in Rosend on November 12, Shaw said the farm, which is owned and operated by Crafton Holdings and specialises in goat rearing and egg production, can spur a heightened interest in agriculture.
“It can serve as a platform to show and inspire others to get on to [the] path of technology,” he said.
The minister said the project, which is spearheaded by Senator Damion Crawford, demonstrates how production outputs can be significantly enhanced with the infusion of technology.
“Let us work closely, because this project can serve as inspiration to others who want to join. I feel inspired by what you are doing … for us to get on a new platform for sustainable growth and wealth creation. We need many more projects like this one,” Shaw said.
Crawford, who is the chief executive officer of Crafton Holdings, indicated that the company has embarked on an expansion programme, through venturing into fish farming and looking to become a centre which helps to bolster the goat rearing industry.
He said the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the Scientific Research Council have helped the project tremendously.
Crawford, who noted that the markets for goats are “intensive,” said opportunities abound, and cited one retailer whose monthly demand currently exceeds the combined supplies of the farmers.
“We will have a cluster that offers training, vet services, breeding services, cheaper feed, cheaper medicine, and a guaranteed market,” he said, adding that the entity’s canned mannish water is poised for distribution shortly.