Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, has directed the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB) to engage more young people in the production of specialty cheese.
The Minister issued the charge to the JDDB as a means of ramping up dairy production, by focusing on value-added products. He was speaking at a meeting with the JDDB at the Ministry's offices at Hope Gardens in Kingston last Thursday (September 24). “I want a solid programme to train those who are interested in producing this cheese. The industry is in high demand especially in the tourism industry,” he told members of the meeting.
Making reference to artisan cheesemaker Outland Hurders Creamery and Farmstead from Manchester, which is run by a group of young people, Minister Green said the company has been lobbying for support for more youth to get involved in a similar business because of the high demand for the products.
The Minister tasked the JDDB to engage The Heart Trust/NSTA Ebony Park in Clarendon, College of Agriculture, Science and Education in Portland and other educational institutions to craft a programme to teach those interested in the fundamentals of specialty cheese production. “We need to get a cohort of young people to train and to give them some equipment and send them out,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the JDDB, Everton Parkes said, the JDDB is embarking on a project to secure mobile milk machines and communal milk sheds as well as provide livestock farmers with silage as part of efforts to increase the country’s milk production.