BVI News

Local cows major moneymakers for BVI

This herd of Senepol cattle was photographed in the Capoon’s Bay area of Tortola recently. (Photo Credit: Andre ‘Shadow’ Dawson/BVI News)

Local farmers are advising the government to preserve and promote endemic species such as the Senepol cattle, which is being described as livestock in high demand across the globe.

While speaking recently at a public consultation with agriculture workers about government’s proposed recovery plan, farmers said meat-lovers are willing to pay big bucks for Senepol cattle.

“I think we should try to promote that animal a whole lot because from what I know, people pay huge sums of money for these cattle,” said a local farmer, Radford Potter.

Potter reasoned that the Senepol cattle agrees with the climate in the Caribbean and produces quality beef and milk.

The farmer also noted that the Virgin Islands White Sheep is another endemic species that could be financially beneficial to the BVI.

“These are two animals that were created inside the Virgin Islands; meaning it’s our thing. It’s two of the best animals anywhere so I think we should do whatever we can to preserve them,” said Potter, whose statements received support from the farming community.

Chairman of the BVI Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn described the suggestion as meritable ideas worth considering.

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27 Comments

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  1. Sam the man says:

    What? I usually nearly run over these cow’s as they are just left to roam all over the place….since when did the BVI ever have an aptitude for raising cattle ? we ain’t Texas…”Pie in the sky idea” as usual…

  2. Reality says:

    Herd? where – I see 4 cow’s on a beach as they have just been left to roam for whatever food they can find…this is complete nonsense.

  3. Albion says:

    If the farmers want to preserve these cows, they need to preserve them on their *own land* and *keep it fenced*. All the time I am having to chase cows off my land. They destroy what they walk over and what they eat. They leave sh!t *everywhere*. Farmers just don’t care about the damage their livestock does to other people’s property. They need to get them under control, or the Government needs to make them get it under control.

  4. ... says:

    Beautiful pic. See them posing?

  5. E. Leonard says:

    Senepol cattie and White sheep may be special breeds. But the demand for them? Nonetheless, cow and other live stock rearing of the past is gone. The Tradegy of the Commons some what approach, ie, unlimited use of available land, is history. Cows can no long roam far and wide around the territory to feed. Now owners have to contain them on their property. Further, other land owners land, ground, gardens, flower beds……etc must be be respected. It takes acreage to raise a cow; some of the acreage once used for cattle rearing has been converted to other uses, ie housing…..etc.

    Furthermore, the BVI has a growing population (~30,000) but lacks the acreage to raise cattle to meet its beef, milk, and other dairy products demand. Most of its needs will have to be imported. Nevertheless, to meet some of its need, the cattle rearing approach in the BVI will have to change. Imported cattle feed may be needed.. However, then the issue is can local beef and dairy products compete with imports?

    Nonetheless, fresh local beef, cow milk…….etc has value and perhaps health benefits. But if consumers want it they must understand that the production cost will be higher and there will be higher prices at the check out counter. The Dept of Agriculture should support local farmers and fishermen to the maximum extend practical. The BVI must try to maintain and sustain a food security posture as best as possible.

    • Bandit says:

      Yes Leonard. These senepol cattle are in high demand especially if they are pure bred without any mixing in their gene pool. Just Google senepol cattle associate and you will be surprise.

      • E. Leonard says:

        @Bandit, thanks. My research (google) showed that St. Croix developed the Senepol breed of cattle from imports supppsedly from Senegal in the 1800s. The Senepol named was adopted in 1954. The breed is now raised in the US southern states, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo(DR), Philippines Islands , Venezuela, Paraguay, Zimbabwe among other countries.

        • Bandit says:

          Leonard. I am glad that you did the research about the Senepol cattle
          when I research them years
          ago I was amazed of how the breed had spread all over the world

      • Socrates says:

        St. Croix, 84 square mile and developer of the Senepol breed, is not raking in tons of money from it. In fact,it look as if St. Croix has lost interest in the breed. Other countries such as the US, Brazil, and Australia are rearing Senepol cattle. Can BVI, a 59 square mile territory, compete with these large developed countries? These countries have an absolute advantage in Senepol beef production over the BVI.

        How many pounds of beef the BVI currently produces annually? How many pounds of Senepol beef is exported annually? How many heads of Senepol cattle are in the BVI? How many acres can BVI dedicate to cattle rearing? What is the local demand for local Senepol beef? What is the cost per pound of Senepol beef relative to imported beef? What will be the diffrentiation point(s) for local Senepol beef,ie, freshness, local production, taste…….etc?

        Should not the BVI produce what it has a comparative advantage( lowest opportunity cost) in and import the rest?

        • ChBandit says:

          The reason why st Croix is not making money from the Senepol breed is just like the BVI, The government in the USVI does not support agriculture.

    • Watcher says:

      Elmore is it?

  6. RealPol says:

    @ E. Leonard, real talk. The volume of agricultural production in the BVI is dwindling rapidly. Many factors have contributed to the decline, ie, changing land uses, passing of older farmers, disdain for agriculture by younger generations, shift from subsistence agriculture to a service-base economy, rising imports, floundering agricultural policies and procedures……….etc. The long term outlook for local agriculture is bleak. By necessity and convenience, we will be wed to primarily agricultural imports. Now we are almost totally dependent on imports. If the ship do not come, panick and anxiety sets in. True, due to the population growth and lack of land, the BVI cannot totally feed itself . But it must do more to reduce agricultural imports. Lack of food security should keep us up at night, should it not?

    • NPolitico says:

      @RealPol, though the BVI may not be self sufficient in food production, it must do more to enhance its food security posture. For example, property owners can cultivate small plots, grow vegetables in back yards, produce more eggs locally, produce more poultry, catch and sell more local fish……..etc. increased local food production will reduce the impact if the import chain is disrupted.

  7. Longshanks says:

    Would be better to be selling local milk and local beef locally.

  8. vg resident says:

    Really, how many head of cattle are being sold out of the BVI. It surely is not a MAJOR moneymaker for the BVI. I am sure there is some money being made but I doubt that even 1000 cattle are being sold to offshore persons. Prove me wrong!

    • Longshanks says:

      You’re probably right. But these things grab headlines. Remember the main thing the Premier was lobbying for in terms of UK Brexit was to be able to export fish to Europe?

  9. The Real Boo says:

    Up until recently the National Treasurey was a real good producer of milk for many. However it has been sucked dry and can no lobger perform. It was a big money maker for some cronies but no longer. We should try to preserve it.

  10. Ahhh My BVI says:

    I just love love love the picture!

  11. ...time will tell says:

    Mind them cow find an ark and leave the island. Thet will if you let them

  12. Watcher says:

    Big hat, no cattle.

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