Thursday, 15 September 2011 8:41 AM

Reviving the Cattle Industry?

Four hundred heads of cattle are due to arrive in the country next month, says Agriculture Permanent Secretary, John Harunari.

The live cattle imports follow the signing of an agreement between the Solomon Islands Government and the Government of Vanuatu.

The Permanent Secretary however says the Agriculture Ministry is now waiting for the Ministry of Finance to release funds to pay the cattle supplier in Vanuatu.

The cattle will be transported to Solomon Islands and will be herded at Tenavatu in East Guadalcanal before being shipped to other provinces.

Experts in the industry say that beef quality is dependent on the diet provided to cattle and their living conditions. They say that the farming regime that could work for Solomon Islands is grass pasture based farming.

"Solomon Islands rainfall and largely temperate climate will result in high quality pastures, which may be suitable for more intensive agriculture," stated one of the experts spoken to.

These experts say that grass-fed beef is healthier than beef from feedlots, as it contains less saturated fat and it does not contribute so much to raising cholesterol in humans.

They say that Solomon Islands needs to train up its farmers if they are serious in reviving the cattle industry as it has become far more technical than it used to be.

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