26 Jun 2019

Growing the herd key to Fiji dairy recovery

3:20 pm on 26 June 2019

Replenishing Fiji's dairy herd is key to reviving local milk production which is down by nearly a half, the Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company says

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Photo: 123RF

The spread of brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis in Fiji has decimated herds, and milk production has plummeted from nine to five million litres over the past seven years.

The company's chief executive Kushmendra Prasad said infected herds had been culled, including cattle on neighbouring farms.

The government has allocated significant funds for a recovery programme which includes artificial insemination, embryo transplants and genetic profiling, Mr Prasad said.

"We can grow our calves and have the calf raising facility going on so that as soon as the TB animals are detected we have some spare animals which can go back into dairy," he said.

"Calf rearing is being given the highest priority now."

Fiji cannot import cattle due to quarantine restrictions, Mr Prasad said.