Research Flock Saudi Arabia Bound
New Zealand will export a research flock of sheep to Saudi Arabia this year under a breeding project aimed at bolstering the kingdom’s livestock supplies, according to the National. Pregnant ewes and lamb will be shipped by air freight. Some will be cross-bred with Awassi, a fat-tailed sheep breed found in Saudi Arabia.
“We will monitor which breeds perform best in the climatic conditions here,” Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said.
Home to about 30 million sheep, New Zealand currently exports only about 400 of them every year for breeding.
“The farm will be a model for vertical integration, from cropping to fresh meat supply to the local market,” Guy said. “It will be a full showcase of New Zealand agritech including technical services, farming systems, animal health, on-farm equipment, genetics and farm expertise.”
In a sign of growing food security links between New Zealand and the Middle East, this month Fonterra opened an ingredients warehouse in Jebel Ali, Dubai, to support growing demand for dairy products in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. The facility will act as a distribution hub for Fonterra.
Original article by Tom Arnold, The National, March 8, 2014.