Lack of feed, shortage of vets are major issues
The insufficient supply of local feed and the lack of vets are major challenges faced by livestock farmers in Samoa.
So says Ministry of Agriculture (livestock division) representative, Renee Orange, who highlighted the challenge during the 2018 Agriculture and Fisheries Show, last week.
Ms. Orange said the lack of feed supply mainly affects chicken and pig farmers.
“These animals really need the feed supply for a balanced and a high protein diet, but our local feed is not good enough,” she said.
“So we have to use imported ingredients which are expensive for our farmers.
“For those who want to be livestock farmers one of the main challenges faced by so many is not having enough land to farm on.
“Other reasons would be high maintenance for sheep and cattle farms, which include fences, and for the sheep you need a sheep house that can protect them from the elements and then water supply for the animals.”
Ms. Orange, who is a Veterinarian, said that to have a viable livestock farm; a farmer needs to be financially and economically viable.
Overall, she said the Agriculture show is important because it raises awareness about local produce.
“It can’t be just the producers working hard it has to be both consumers and producers,” she said.
“We really need to encourage people to buy local and to know where their food comes from, so that we can all work together because ultimately farmers feed our people and their prosperity feeds back into the prosperity of Samoa which is also important for the economy.”