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UWI research to focus on local grain as substitute in animal feed

  • MOU signed between The UWI, Mona, CB Group and the Raymond Chang Foundation

The University of the West Indies, (UWI) Mona has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Caribbean Broilers (CB) Group and the Raymond Chang Foundation which will facilitate research to support the introduction of sorghum as an ingredient of animal feed to replace in part, imported corn in local animal feed. Opportunities for the cultivation of other imported crops will also be explored.
 
The MOU was signed on Thursday, May 8 by Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of The UWI, Mona Campus, Professor Archibald McDonald, Director of the Raymond Chang Foundation (RCF), Mr. Howard Mitchell and Chief Executive Officer of the CB Group, Mr. Mark Haskins, at a ceremony held in the Council Room at The UWI, Mona Campus.
 
In welcoming the development, Professor McDonald said that the overall objective of The UWI Mona’s involvement was to improve Agriculture’s contribution to Jamaica’s GDP, food security and safety through increased focus on the business aspects of agriculture with a view to increasing investment in commercial agriculture, improving agricultural production, productivity and soil management. This would be achieved principally through research, training and outreach programmes which would be conducted by UWI’s Biotechnology Centre and the Department of Life Sciences among others. He added that that the Mona Campus had refocused its research agenda to emphasise research which would positively impact Jamaica’s economic development and therefore supported initiatives of this nature.
 
Mr. Haskins noted that CB has already established an agricultural operation for the cultivation of Sorghum and other grains to enhance their annual feed stock and for import substitution purposes; red kidney beans, other legumes and commercial plants are also being cultivated. However, very little research has been conducted to ensure best practices and the long term viability of the project.
 
He stated that CB was prepared to lease some of its lands to The UWI Mona for the purpose of establishing a research and development effort and an educational facility to support a technology transfer programme. The Partners will also seek to secure additional lands for the further expansion of the venture.
 
Capital and operational funding to support farm development and management by The UWI Mona in conjunction with the CB Group will be provided by the Raymond Chang Foundation.  Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, Mr. Mitchell pledged its support for the initiative which he said would bring well-needed discipline to certain aspects of the economy.
 
The signing was witnessed by Mr. Francis Felix, of The UWI, Mona’s Project Office, Professor Helen Asemota, Director, Biotechnology Centre & Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Mona.

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