Zimbabwe goat industry continues to grow

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Kwekwe (New Ziana) -Goat breeding is growing rapidly in Zimbabwe with the national herd standing at 4.5 million as of 2022, up from about 3.4 million in 2018, an official has said.

In an interview with New Ziana, Goat Breeders Association of Zimbabwe executive council member Rodney Lunga said 80 percent of the herd, including both the breeding and slaughter stock, is reared by small holder farmers.

Lunga said goat keeping was evolving at a fast pace with innovations such as block chain technology and derivatives transactions finding their way into the value chain.

Blockchain technology is an advanced database mechanism that allows transparent information sharing within a business network while derivative transactions include an assortment of financial contracts, including structured debt obligations, deposits, swaps, futures and various combinations thereof.

“Many commercial farmers have begun to infuse and incorporate commercial goat production into their enterprises as a way to spread their investment zygotes within the agricultural industry,” said Lunga.

He said previously known as the “poor men’s cows”, goats were now viewed as the “biological gold”.

“Commercial goat production has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that it is in point of fact a smart climate change and variability adaptation strategy.

“With the increasing incidences of unpredictable and extreme weather patterns, disease proliferation and outbreaks (January disease etc.) in Sub Saharan Africa, investment into the goat value chain has been recently seen as a safe haven,” he said.

Lunga said Zimbabwean farmers practice three types of goat farming, namely intensive, semi-intensive and the extensive system.

“The extensive system functions on a relatively very low allowable mortality level and offers the greatest protection for the flock from the major causes of goat deaths in Zimbabwe, which are, both the predators and parasites, and making use of high management techniques whilst maximizing available limited space.

He said the intensive system was motivated by purely commercial reasons with investors focusing on commercial soundness and viability, guided by real market demand in the form of solid off-take agreements or supply purchase agreements and financial indices that include the return per dollar invested, return on invested capital and increase in net profit over time.

The intensive farming system is the most expensive, efficient and labor consuming, as farmers rear goats either for milk, skin, breeding stock or fatten them for meat, he said.

New Ziana

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