The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has organized two introductory sessions entitled "Economic Importance of Sheep Breeding" at Al Wathba Council in Abu Dhabi and Al Sila Council in Al Dhafra. The sessions were attended by Rashid Mohamed Al Rasas Al Mansoori, Acting Executive Director of the Livestock Sector at ADFCA, and a number of citizens. These activities reflect ADFCA's keenness to enhance communication with all segments to improve the quality of its services and increase its various efforts aim at achieving food sustainability.
During the lecture, Al Mansouri highlighted the significant support provided by Abu Dhabi Government for the sustainability of livestock through identification of animals, disbursement of feed, and provision of veterinary services and guidance as well as cash support. He stressed the importance of these efforts in enabling the local-produced meat to compete in the emirate's markets, which increases the food security of red meat.
Al Mansouri touched on essentials and purpose of founding sheep breeding projects, adding that breeders should be aware of such basics before thinking about breeding sheep. He stressed breeders have to determine whether the goal of breeding is commercial or personal, as each goal has different requirements in terms of numbers of animals, area of possession and other operational costs.
"It is important to select disease-resistant and highly productive breeds that suit the environment conditions of the Emirate. Breeders should rely on specialists to produce animal hybrid species, as unsound hybridization programs can have a negative impact on the herd's productivity," said Al Mansouri.
Al Mansouri stressed the importance of defining the project's production system, the number of the herd's animals and the number of births, as well as conducting a feasibility study to define production costs, products' prices and any production system that must be applied to maximize profits.
Furthermore, he noted the need to define the available marketing channels, the market's needs of breeds and weights, and the possibility of cooperating with relevant companies.
Al Mansouri urged livestock breeders to follow the sound practices for breeding animals. Such practices can reduce about 70% of production costs as well as animals mortality rate, and increase the animal's efficiency and productivity.
Moreover, Al Mansouri stressed the need to follow the necessary practices during breeding season by applying creep feeding, which it is the practice of supplying a supplemental feed to calves before they are weaned and providing daily follow-up of the animals' health.
During the sessions, Mr. Rashid Al Mansouri answered a set of the participants' queries. He also discussed the importance of the cooperation between ADFCA and livestock breeders to maintain and develop the livestock sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Al Mansouri also praised the vital role played by livestock breeders in enhancing the authority's efforts to provide safe and healthy food to the society.
For their side, the attendees hailed the authority's efforts in diversifying the cultural and awareness activities in the residential neighborhood councils. They called for re-organizing of such activities, which promote the good values of society and build bridges of communication between citizens and the government institutions.
For his side, Mr. Rashid Al Mansouri also praised the role of the councils' officials in hosting ADFCA's sessions. He also expressed his great appreciations to the participants for their attentiveness and interaction, noting the great role played by the neighborhood councils in raising the society's awareness.