No-wool sheep for Fiji
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CTA. 1991. No-wool sheep for Fiji. Spore 36. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45647
In the past Fiji has not had much success in rearing sheep. Wool sheen have failed to perform in the heat but now a specially bred tropical sheep may be set to reverse this trend. The aim of a project by the Ministry of Primary Industries is to...
In the past Fiji has not had much success in rearing sheep. Wool sheen have failed to perform in the heat but now a specially bred tropical sheep may be set to reverse this trend. The aim of a project by the Ministry of Primary Industries is to diversify Fiji's agricultural base, improve rural nutrition and meet the demand for fresh sheep meat. Although Fiji could not become self-sufficient in sheep meat due to lack of grazing land, there is a market for fresh sheep meat particularly for religious festivals. Currently 10,000 tonnes of frozen meat are imported annually, mainly from New Zealand. The sheep that are being trialled in the project are a cross on the Barbados Black Belly (a hair sheep requiring no shearing) imported from California and the Wiltshire from Australia. Although other crosses were tried, the BBB/Wiltshire cross was found to have the best weight gain, the least wool and the best reproductive rate. Thirty per cent of the ewes, which lamb once a year, produced twins. It is hoped that large-scale sheep farming could productively use the largely neglected unfertile grasslands in the dry areas of the two main islands. There is also the possibility that sheep production could be integrated with other large industries such as sugar cane, citrus and softwoods. Provided that they are not overstocked, sheep leave sugar cane and trees alone and therefore do not degrade the land as goats can. Peter Manueli Ministry of Primary Industries, Box 348, Suva, FIJI