GFAR blog

YAP proposal #411: A Bank of Hoofs: Flexible Goat Contract Farming with Smallholders (Walusako Kayinga, Malawi)

Aloha, my name is Walusako Kayinga. I am a second year master’s student in animal science at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

I am running a social entrepreneurship project with 15 smallholder farmers from around the university whereby I provide them with goats, livestock drugs and extension services under a very flexible contract arrangement:

I buy female goats whose parents have twinning history, which I give to the farmers under the arrangement that they will tend for goats to a point where the goats bear their own kids.

When a goat bears twins, I get one and the farmer gets the other. But, when it bears one, the farmer gets the kid. If the farmer is interested, we extend the contract for another 8 month period to the next kidding, only that now the farmer keeps an additional goat and gets an additional goat in return after kidding.

Whenever the farmer wants to sale goats, either I buy them at competitive prices or I link the farmer to a lucrative market that buys the goats as a better price.

Essentially, the project is helping farmers’ households become more resilient to various shocks as the farmers are building a stronger asset base.

Inspecting some of the goats in a participating farmers kraal

At present, I have 39 farmers demanding to join the contract farming arrangement. This signals to me that the project has an enormous potential for growth and that it is meeting rural farmers’ need for viable income generating activities and asset building opportunities.

The main challenge I am facing right now is inadequacy of my resources to grow and meet the farmers demand to participate.

Therefore, the USD 5,000 at stake under the YAP competition can go a long way in helping more smallholder farmers to participate in the project so as to also benefit from increased household incomes and resilience that farmers currently participating in the project are enjoying.

Group photo with some of the farmers participating in the project

In order to maximize the impact of the grant to our venture, the money will be used as follows:

  • Buying stocks at USD 2,702
  • Drugs at USD 1,352
  • Veterinary officer payment at USD 110
  • Kraal improvement at USD 336
  • Transport at USD 500.

Looking into the future, I am thinking of diversifying the project in two dimensions.

First, I have been requested by a majority of the farmers to introduce piggery as one of the livestock ventures I am financing their households with the arguments that pigs have slightly higher gross margins and produce up to 15 piglets at once, hence having more potential to infuse more income to the farmers as well as the project.

Second, I am planning to establish a medium scale goat and pig processing plant that will serve farmers as a sustainable market for their livestock as well as consumers in western Lilongwe as a source of quality and hygienic meat.

In the spirit of social entrepreneurship, I am planning to have at most 49% of the processing plant owned by smallholder farmers whereas I will own the remaining share of the venture.

Given the difficulties I have so far encountered in trying to access a loan for this venture, winning this competition will form first steps towards actualizing my idea.


Blogpost and picture submitted by Walusako Kayinga (Malawi): kayingawalusako[at]

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #411 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

271 thoughts on “YAP proposal #411: A Bank of Hoofs: Flexible Goat Contract Farming with Smallholders (Walusako Kayinga, Malawi)”

  1. This is a great idea as it is evidently showing that it has much greater potential to enhance resilience to farmers in times of shocks that affect the poor farmers.

  2. walusako that is nice project.. my question is which cretelia you are using when selecting the farmers.

    1. Among the interest, we choose low income households with some labour to tend for the goats, the priority is to the household with no livestock

  3. This is avery brilliant project to alleviate the problems that local farmers are facing in improving their livelihoods and food security due to lack of enterprises and starting capital hence coming of this project will champion the bottlenecks farmers have been facing in improving their health and general livelihoods.

    1. Thanks Mr Ben, the most critical thing to invest in goats is initial stock, so due to this am expecting that most farmers will start keeping goats hence increasing production by number

  4. Woooow that’s amazing, but what are you really trying to find out , is it boosting the welfare of the farmers or there is something you want to find out but in course the farmers will be helped as well??

    1. Thanks for your brilliant question. Am not trying to find-out something new since its not an experiment but I am trying to promote goat production through increasing number of goats ownership.

      1. I like this. Setting aside sometime within your busy schedule to implement ideas that will improve other people’s livelihoods. I feel its a ministry on its own. Keep it up

  5. This is great idea, Mr Kayinga. Africa needs such ideas for socio-economic development. I like the word “social entrepreneurship project”. I have discovered that you have got the spirit of giving back to the community and making farmers smile.

    Your project idea has taught me a lesson of giving. Big up.

    1. Thank you very much Saikonde for the comment, I believe that if this can extend to many areas we can achieve food and nutrition security

  6. wow!! what a brilliant innovative project walu..keep it up, wif these ideas we can make malawi a better place

  7. This is very good initiative Mr Walusako Kainga. We have many people in the agriculture sector whose main interest is in crops and a few are in animals. Your choice to do goats especially targeting and sourcing twin bearing goats is incredible 100% good and well appreciated. Its something which really needs some funding in order to support our local farmers. Wishing you all the best Walusako and GO for it

  8. Well, this is a great idea,helping smallholder farmers in such a way will eventually alleviate poverty levels at household levels and hence boost the economy of the country. Am of the view that this program need to be fully supported and sustained. Thanks

    1. Thank you Buthe for good comments saying that this willl alleviate poverty levels at household level

  9. Well, this project on its own is really great, i am of the view that it should be well suported and sustained as this will utimately help in alleviating poverty levels at household levels and hence boast economy of the country,

  10. This is so innovative! Its a brilliant idea Walusako. Apart from that it has already proven to work, I’m seeing within it a much greater potential of turning around the livelihoods of most livestock farmers. And the direction you are taking, both the first and the second, congrats and all the best as you are implementing them all!

    1. Thanks for the comment Christy, it has real much potential because farmers will even gain knowledge in animal husbandry

  11. wawoo thats great big i hope it sustainability will help both financial and food aspects as well

  12. This is a very good project Mr. Kayinga. It has the potential to improve people’s livelihoods. Keep it up!

  13. Well,its quite a great thing to do…..will be glad to learn that it materialised.My question is; what measures are there against impatient farmers who may sell the goats prior they produce the offsprings and lie that the goats got stolen or attacked by hynas…

  14. Very interesting stuff, particulary because the flexible contract arrangement is effective with smallholder farmers who at times tend to default. Impressive.

  15. I love the motive behind the idea, non-the less the project will to greater highest improve the social-economic status of our poor farmers.
    My encouragement to you Mr Kayinga is given the opportunity expand the base of the project to other small stocks I.e pigs as you have already suggested given the economic benefits sarounding them.

  16. I love the idea, especially that the project will benefit our poor farmers. The project also has potential for social-economic development let alone address poverty.
    Projects meant to address sustainable development goals like this one is a way to go for Malawi.

    1. Thank you sir, I feel good when working with animals…we can develop smallholder farmer through livestock as a business

  17. Mr Kayinga i see this project going far and if more people are to invest in such a system i can predict a drop in poverty level of the rural masses since food security is guaranteed. God bless you and your idea. i like it

  18. Mr Walu, this is quite interesting and on point. The idea is fantabulous. Thumbs up.

  19. Mr Walu I like the idea, it has the capacity to develop smallholder farmers. How is the contract livestock industry in Malawi?

    1. Contract livestock farming in Malawi is good though there in need to be careful in who to give the contract. I seen one with SSLLP which gave pigs to the farmers under the contract..some farmers have now advanced while very few gave-up due to mismanagement.

  20. I like the project as it will strengthen the capacity of smallholder farmers sustainable goat production.

  21. That’s a brilliant idea. Keep it up for that. Its my prayer God should give you more wisdom so that you must run your project easily

  22. Good project Mr Walusako, I just want to know if you have included any monitoring activities to monitor the farmers performance after the contract has ended

    1. Wonderful question. Yes monitoring will be included because apart from just giving goats , farmers and assistant veterinary officer (AVOs) will be keeping the farm records through which the performance will be drawn at the end.

  23. i would love to see the dream of opening a meat processing plant materialize. it will radically change the livestock landscape in Malawi. farmers face serious challenges accessing profitable markets in Malawi.

  24. Reblogged this on Edwin Kenamu and commented:
    An Experiment with Livestock contract Farming as a social entrepreneurship drive in Malawi. what are your thoughts on this idea? comment on the actual proposal to help the idea get votes. you vote by commenting

  25. This is a very good project and actually needs more support so that it gets to all parts of the country.

  26. I like your ideas. You are doing extremely well. Keep it up . its nice that you have already started implementing them .most of the farmers will be empowered by your project

  27. Wow….this is so impressive,what a massive idea you bringing to the nation,I support you Mr Kayinga

  28. i think you should really consider the monitoring aspect that Lumbani has touched on. especially after the farmer has graduated from the project.

    1. Yes very true, I have already developed the data recording sheets for each farmer through the help of Assistant Vetirenary Officers (AVOs) and frequently visits will be made to the contract farmers. The recording will help us to folow the performance of the goats interms of feed, breeding, diseses , growth etc.

    1. Thank you sir, Hoping this to uplift livestock industry in Malawi for the benefit of the farmers

  29. This is a very good idea…indeed lets hold hands to uplift, the lives of poor smallholder farmers who for so long have been sidelined..l hope this initiative will extend to other parts of the country…..God bless you as you are trying to liberate
    the poor frm poverty …

  30. I like the idea…sometimes to help somebody is to help them help themselves. This project is exactly doing that and more. Keep that up brother.

  31. I like the idea. Sometimes to help somebody is to help them help themselves. This project is doing that and more. Keep that up brother!

  32. Interesting, and I think they project will not only expand the economic base of farmers, but in the long run help improve marketability of small stocks that will see our farmers benefiting from the proceeds.

    1. Very true because currently we lack formal markets for goats and pigs which hinders the farmers from getting more profits

  33. This is a very good initiative Walusako, considering that we are living in a country where many smallholder farmers can not afford these type of livestocks. I think this will give them a chance to gain skills and experience in livestock management. Keep it up. I suggest this should be extended to other smallholder farmers across the country.

  34. Good stuff… and i like the piggery introduction’s brilliant.keep it up Mr.kainga

  35. This is a really great idea very helpful to the locally farmers indeed and I would imagine the greater impact if this was well funded I mean we are talking of easing the very hunger problem we have.

    1. the project is nice..with this kind of thinking we can easily develop..please let me involved in implementation

  36. This is what our farmer needs; a complete package. The soft loan, animal health facilities and close supervision will ensure not only success but sustainability of the project. I will suggest that you add an element of appropriate training particularly on-farm training for sustainability

  37. Give a farmer money, he will spend it on a bicycle..give him a goat, veterinary services and a close watch, he will educate his children. Walu you are a man

  38. Thats a very good project Walusako.
    i maging the whole village benefiting from the project.the end result will be farmers that have higher income levels and better nutritional status.

  39. i like the idea my brother. but how are you going to makesure that this project is sustainable?

    1. This will be sustainable because the goats we get from farmers will be reinvested to another farmer, it also involve government officials( AVOs) who can later continue and the monitoring and trainings that will keep farmers with skills. I see the sustainability

  40. walu. i am very pleased to hear this project idea of trying to promote livestock production among rural smallholder farmers around LUANAR. looking at figures in literature malawi is very behind interms of livestock production when compared with other countries in SADC region. but the good thing is that you have already started this. my question now how do you look at acceptability or the number of farmers that are joining the business with you ist prominsing? another question what are the great challenges these farmers are facing?

    1. thanks your comment madam..As I indicated this, many farmers are interested, there more farmers that want to own atleast a goat. The most challenge that farmers complain is treatment when goats get sick,this is because we lack funds that can enhance us to buy drugs and pay veterinary personnel for service. But I hope through this funding everything will be in place.

    1. Yes Kenamu..Piggery is the way to go from this..the advantage is that pigs multiply very fast

    1. With the stabilized funding we want to reach to all places in Malawi…because our goal is to empower smallholder farmer ecnomically

  41. Give a smallholder farmer this kind of support, Malawi will never be the same. Mr Walusako, I like the idea.

    1. Not yet but we have started with formalizing the market for goats and later we are looking forward to that we should be buying goats from our farmers at a good price and processes it

  42. This is a great project, scaling it up will be very important looking at the current situation in the country, innovative I ideas like this can really things around economically and socially

  43. I support this project proposal as it aims to improve quality of life among resource constrained households who form majority of Malawi’s population. I am particularly interested because the project will address needs of women and children on a number of fronts. Firstly, goats are scavangers and therefore won’t demand much in feeding requirements, i.e. reducing drudgery among farmers. Goats are relatively highly prolific and easy to keep. secondly, they are a good source of nutrition (meat and milk) for women and children. Expanding this project will improve lives of most poor farmers especially women and children. This project is timely as Malawi is struggling with effects of climate change, inadequate nutrition and poor economic performance. This project is worth funding.

    1. Thank you Tawina, I think you have explained very well on the technical part of the have proved it workable. Those points are very true

  44. I support this innovative project. It is transforming lives of resource constrained farmers who form majority of Malawi’s population. This project is relevant and timely considering its potential to address effects of climate change, inadequate nutrition especially among women and children, and poor economic performance. The technology can easily be scaled up and out. This project is worth funding.

  45. wow, this is great sir, I really love the idea….it has really inspired me…u r doing great sir…excellent work

  46. Wow this is amazing. Many small holder farmers will be helped through this project. Kudos to you Walusako.

  47. I like this idea very much, I think this can also help to improve the livelihoods of our smallholder farmers

  48. Nice project, I think you better implement it in Nsanje district as well, since cropping has proved to be problematic

    1. Thank you very much,,I think that is very brilliant.. goats can be answers to their crop failure true

  49. wow…..i love the project’s idea of improving lives of farmers, very very good initiative…….keep it up…..i wish you all the best sir.

  50. If you dont expand this then we are killing the livestock industry, please include more livestock species to employ more people.

  51. I see this project simple but with huge impact interms of food and nutrition security especially to women and children

    1. We are even more interested to work with women as well so 50-50 campaign will apply unless otherwise

  52. This is a nice idea by an enterprising young man more especially that it has a direct impact on improving rural livelihoods. we want such projects which can bring results immediately on smallholder farmers.

  53. I am captivated by the diversity part, farmers should learn to never put their eggs in one basket. Diversity is spice to agricultural sustainability……

  54. This idea is the answer to the economic empowement to our poor farmers..more trainings interms of livestock as a business

  55. and again am mesmerised by the economic empowerment of this eye catcher project, the farmer has something out of this…..the calf, either way the farmer is benefiting and also there is assurance of sustainability…..doing things today for tomorrow….

  56. Nice idea but when implementing consider its integration into other disciplinary like environment and crops

  57. Make sure you purchasing indigenous goats becuse they are the one adapting very well to the mw environment, otherwise this is the right direction.

  58. I know your interest is for real…this is very innovative to farmers..add me on interested farmer list

  59. I hope the farmers will be happy now after selling the goats at a good price this is indeed a good project. All the best

  60. This is very good sir. remember to promote best farmers during implementationt. this will motivate other farmers to work hard

  61. That’s wonderful.ambitions and wish ur dream come true brother. Am.inspired by ur determination to make a difference in livestock farming improvement

  62. Thats nice and encouraging I hope the project will help the farmers deal with most of their problems coz livestock is a big treasure. Well done Walusako all the best may all donors willing to support come forward and fund the project

  63. Great idea and productive work, I wish most young people could think like you… Am really proud of you….

  64. Contract farming is best and way to go for Malawi. Our poor resource farmers will benefit from the programme for sure.

  65. Despite the known advantages that livestock contribute to farming household’s food security and income, livestock production has lagged behind for a number of reasons including lack of purchasing power among the resource-constrained households. In this regard, you idea is relevant and realistic in revamping the sector. Good luck as you make a substantial contribution to the local community and, in turn, to the national economy.

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