THE Ministry of Agriculture wants to further expand the livestock industry in the Western Division.
Animal health and production department director Tomasi Tunabuna said plans were in the pipeline to increase the livestock population in the West next year.
"We have a lot of plans for the livestock industry in the Western Division for next year because this region has a good environment for it. This year we started expanding the dairy industry in the West," he said.
"Our poultry industry is also growing vigorously in the Lautoka and Nadi corridor. We have a lot of plans for the development of the sheep genetic industry and even the improvement of feed for livestock here."
Mr Tunabuna said the department would also look at increasing livestock feed products in the area.
"We are looking at how we can make use of a lot of available resources for feed.
"We are taking into account the availability of sugar cane tops for six months every year which is a very good form of forage for livestock.
"The availability and abundance of feedstock in the West is something we want to benefit from and that's how our livestock can be expanded."
The director also highlighted that the Western Division was a livestock disease-free zone.
"The West is still free from brucellosis and tuberculosis which are the two main diseases that we normally want to control and eradicate.
"We believe that if we expand to the West now, we should be able to complement the loss of production from diseased animals in the Central Division."