Australian Droughtmaster cattle headed to Samoa

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A consignment of Droughtmaster cattle and Dorper sheep have been purchased in Australian by the Samoan Ministry of Agriculture to boost existing breeding programs in the Oceania country. The importation project is funded by a grant from the World Bank through the Samoa Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Project, managed by FCG ANZDEC Limited.

The cattle and sheep are currently in quarantine in Orange, NSW, before making the final leg of their journey by air in mid-April.

A statement from the World Bank said agriculture played an important role in the Samoan economy, employing about two-thirds of the national labour force and supporting 18,000 rural households.

“This project will help improve the country’s agriculture sector which has underperformed in the last decade,” World Bank senior rural development specialist Kofi Nouve said.

“The SACEP supports the implementation of Samoa’s Agriculture Sector Plan (2011-15) and will contribute to the plan’s objectives of increased food and income security by 2015 and enhanced private sector capacity in improving productivity, value addition and marketing.

“The project’s focus on developing long-term, sustainable solutions for livestock sector challenges is a first for Samoa and will prove crucial to improving future stock bloodlines.

“Cattle numbers are declining in Samoa, the import of high quality animals is expected to strengthen the country’s cattle breeding program, stop the decline and build back the national herd size.”

Samoan Ministry of Agriculture representative Agnes Meredith and consultant Tim Harvey, from FCG ANZDEC, have just finished selecting the 33 registered heifers, 13 registered bulls, 10 registered ewes and four registered rams in a whirlwind trip across three Australian states.

Cattle were selected from Marosa, Climate Masta stud in Euroa, Vic, and Maruk Droughtmasters, Orange, NSW, while sheep came from Burrawang West, Ootha, NSW, and Auskape, White Rock, NSW.

The animals will be flown out of Sydney Airport on a Qantas 767 freighter direct to the Samoan capital, Apia, in mid-April.

“The supply of Droughtmasters is upgrading existing genetics in Samoa, as are the sheep,” said Mr Adnam.

“They will be benefiting the small farmers in Samoa, who are looking forward to the importation project for years to come, as seedstock herds will be set up to supply genetics to Samoans.”

Selection of stock included animals which fit Samoan importation protocols, in particular bluetongue-free zones for cattle, which is why southern cattle had been sourced.