Manyadza Tatenda is a Zimbabwean man, an agricultural science graduate aged 27. With five years post-graduate experience greatly biased towards crop science, he has since started venturing in animal production.
Most rural households have numerous goats. Having many of these beasts does not contribute much to income flow or improving livelihood for most Zimbabwean farmers. Little do they know that this is more like dead capital lying under utilised. My project seeks to and is proving that commercialising goat production changes ones welfare.
The increasing demand for meat made me realise this project, hence shifting from subsistence goat farming into a commercialised enterprise. This project set off with an initial investment of about 50 goats and these have been the local small breeds, but with help from Mr. Crispen Kadiramwando, the President of the Goats Breeders Association of Zimbabwe, it is possible to get the Boer goat breed that is big enough for meat production.
This breed can be crossed with our local small breeds to yield a cross breed that can produce good marketable meat. If given funds, I intend to acquire 2 Boer bucks (male goats) and 15 Boer does (female goats) by June 2016, as one mature buck can service 40 – 50 females.
One Boer goat can be purchased at a price of USD$250 on average and 17 Boer goats require about $3 400.
USD$800 can be set for upgrading and increasing the structures i.e. their feeding troughs and their pens.
Vaccines and supplementary feeds such as the cakes used to feed the goats will be bought using approximately USD$500 (as they can survive on bushy vegetation and grass, supplements are necessary for quick growth and during pregnancy.)
To sustain the project, income realised from the sale of meat and goats will be used to cover sundry expenses that will be incurred. The average live weight of a mature boer goat is from 110 – 135kg and it takes about 18 months to reach maturity. With the beef price around USD$3.20/Kg, and goat meat prices ranging from USD$2.50 – USD$3.00/Kg this can give a viable business enterprise.
I will be content if more farmers buy my idea and acquire the Boer breed for meat production. In future I look forward to selling meat, goats and semen for artificial insermination to increase the meat production breeds in Zimbabwe.
Seeing this project being a success will help me diversify my profession, see many players venturing in goat production and also my community to awaken this idle goat production enterprise. Joining GCARD3 will expose me to much information and links that can help me champion other projects back home. Even with climatic change characterized by erratic rains in Zimbabwe, I believe venturing in goat production I will not miss the point.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Manyadza Tatenda (Zimbabwe) – manyadzatj[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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