A goat breeding exchange programme
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CTA. 2006. A goat breeding exchange programme. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57442
Increasing the size of local goats, by a community based selective breeding programme, training in husbandry and marketing.
A goat breeding exchange programme Cue: Different breeds of goats can offer farmers a range of benefits. Some breeds fetch higher prices when marketed for meat, because of their larger size. Others may produce more milk, or produce better quality hides. In western Zimbabwe, the indigenous Matabele goat is a relatively large breed, but in recent years some farmers have noticed that their animals are on average, becoming smaller. The cause of the problem seems to have been a lack of good-sized male animals for breeding. Selecting the healthiest, fittest male animal for breeding is vital in livestock rearing, in order that each new generation of animals is as strong and productive as possible. In addressing this problem, farmers in Matabeleland contacted the Matopos Research Station near the city of Bulawayo. As a result, an animal exchange programme has been launched, which enables the farming communities to benefit from the larger, stronger male goats that the station rears. Joseph Sikosana, head of the research station, explained to Sylvia Jiyane how the exchange programme works. IN: ?After a discussion with farmers ?? OUT: ??will be acceptable by consumers.? DUR?N 3?27? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Joseph Sikosana, head of the Matopos Research Station in western Zimbabwe, on a goat exchange programme which is helping farmers improve the size of their animals. The interview comes from a radio resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Sikosana After a discussion with farmers on the problems we are facing on the small size of the goats, we came up with an arrangement whereby farmers should give us their male goats and then we exchange with our male goats and give them so that they take them to go and improve their indigenous goats. And it has been so overwhelming. The farmers accepted that and the results which we are getting at the moment are that farmers are very happy with the type of goats we are exchanging with them. To give an example, farmers will always say the male goat which they got from Matopos is producing healthy, heavy kids and this shows really that the type of goats which we are raising here is going to have an impact on their flocks. Jiyane Having given us that background what exactly did you agree with the community as the objectives of this community goat breeding programme? Sikosana We had to come to an arrangement whereby they could visit the station and be able to identify the type of animal they would like to exchange with us. And it was free for them to choose because we normally dispose of our animals through public auction but we thought that was going to create a financial burden to the farmers. So the farmers agreed to bring the few male goats which they had and we accepted them and we are breeding them. In exchange we have given them our mature male goats to go and improve their flocks. Jiyane Which particular breed are we talking about? Sikosana We are talking of the large type which we call the Matabele Goat which is very predominant and it is good for its prolificacy and also weight-wise, it has got an advantage when it comes to marketing. Jiyane And so far would you mention results of this programme? Sikosana Yes I would say the results are very positive because we are no longer getting those same complaints whereby farmers were complaining of small sizes. But I would say farmers are quite happy with the type of animal they got from us despite the fact that also it is an indigenous animal. Jiyane Do you run courses to back stop this kind of breeding programme with the community? Sikosana Yes we do run some training sessions. Farmers come and visit the station and spend a day with us. Then we run short courses, day courses where we demonstrate especially on the animal husbandry how to look after these animals and also how to manage a breeding flock and when to wean and when to castrate, and most of them have taken it up very well. Jiyane With this programme I can literally visualise a boom in goat production. Would that be a challenge to the marketing of goats? Sikosana Yes I think that would be a challenge because in the goat marketing we have to start with what the consumers want and what the market exactly wants. It is not a matter of having a large animal, a large animal could also be old and have poor quality meat. We have to be very careful on that one. So we are also training farmers to be aware that when they are marketing goats they should come up with a certain standard which will be acceptable by consumers. End of track.