Industry - A Route To Poverty Alleviation!
In preparation for this article I decided to consult my Strong's Comprehensive
Concordance of the Bible, a book which every Christian should have in
It is no secret about my determination to make goat the animal of choice
in St. Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean and give the ruminant/the product
an international recognition.
Many people may not be aware of my religious faith but I am not a Christian,
I am a disciple and prefer to be known as a Biblicist. So in everything
I do I seek guidance from my Creator - Yahweh.
In the Old Testament, goats were used as Sin offering, goat skin for the
covering of the tabernacle, goat's hair for making pillows, goat skin
for clothing, goat milk for food for the household and the maintenance
of maidens. The foregoing good things about goats in the Old Testament
has nothing to do with Matthew 25:32 &33 where reference was made
to dividing the sheep from the goat.
Goats were presented for an offering for Sin and will again come to the
assistance of the poor among us to be a prime mover for the alleviation
While I was living in Guyana, I attended a few goat races and always wanted
to own a goat that I will race. Way back then I saw goat racing as the
poor man's equivalent to horse racing. It is managed on the same principles.
Horse racing is the king's sport and it is the only sport that wagering
is legal on the tracks. So don't jump to conclusion. This law is an exception
in the Criminal Code Chapter 519. Sometimes we forget that our laws are
based on the British Jurisprudence.
In July of 2000 I visited Tobago to see for myself the development of
the sport in that island. I discovered that the sport had a 75 years history
at that point in time.
A special field was provided with starting gate, commentary box and fenced
area for the actual races. It was still a cultural experience and not
commercialized as it is in Guyana. The only problem being that in Guyana
races are not held frequently.
The Bucco races in Tobago is internationally known. Expatriates even own
goats on the island which are taken care of by local trainers.
Let me get off the subject of racing for now and look at the other aspects
of goats breeding that should appeal to most of us. There is a demand
for goat meat and milk. Moreover, goat meat is even exported to neigh-bouring
islands. The time has come for farmers to get serious about goat meat,
milk and its by products production. Apart from the current areas of demand
- as was in Bible days what do we do with the hair and the skin - could
we put it to use and sell to tourists. Example - a few persons dressed
in national outfit offering complete skins for wall decoration and goat
hair as a special items.
Now let us get back to racing in St. Lucia and the wider Caribbean. For
the past year I am associated with a gentleman based in Ireland whom I
met via the internet and we are seeking to establish the International
Goat Racing Association to be located in St. Lucia. Do you for a moment
think this is impossible? The West Indies Cricket Board is headquartered
in Antigua, small island states have great potentials which are being
translated into reality in many instances, IGRA will be one of them.
What is in it for participating countries.
- The development of commercial goat farming.
- The development of a goat book for racing goats breeders.
- Income opportunities for trainers, pilots/jockeys, sport administrators,
manufacturers of racing gears, sale of promotional materials, printing
of posters, programmes, etc., staff for racing venues, wagering clerks,
special transportation, racing goats, vendors, sale of feed and medicines
- The pride of ownership of a Champion goat.
- Increase activity for Vets.
- International exposure for St. Lucia. Races will be carried live internationally.
Goat racing is emerging as a serious sport and offers St. Lucia a unique
opportunity to lead the industry. My co-sponsor is involved in software
development that drives this area of activity.
However it goes, goat racing will be good for St. Lucia, especially at
this present time. We have the goats why not use them productively. We
do not need predigree goats - our local goats are best because they can
withstand the heat. Six months from the time the structure is put in place
- the goats will be off and running.
I am very interested in meeting with current owners of goats around the
island and would be pleased to discuss the future of goat racing and related
projects in St. Lucia and as soon as possible to start a Goat Racing Association
in St. Lucia.
I am pleased to announce the relaunch of www.stluciasimplybeautiful.com.
My internet subscribers to Harris @ Large can now expect a new posting
every Friday morning. In the meantime, my real estate site www.stluciarealtors.com
was launched on June 17, 2002 and is doing very well.
Keep the Faith! God is in Charge!
Friday 2 August 2002