Enormous Potential for Commercial Herds2 min read

Photograph provided by: Dr Divine Ndhlukula & Anisha Cader

Goat Production

Article by: Dr Divine Ndhlukula

The Goat Breeders Association of Zimbabwe (GBAZ), was registered as a trust in 2018. The founding committee identified the need to establish structure in the goat industry to realise its full potential. This led to the formation of the association, whose main mandate is to drive the production of goat breeding and to establish a standard of excellence in Zimbabwe. Anisha Cader, Amato Boer Goats was appointed chair and her deputy is Dr Divine Ndhlukula, Zviko Goats Stud. Other committee members who farm in different regions of Zimbabwe are Chris Grant, Mzilikazi Goats, Caleb Makwara from Beatrice, and Arthur Ndhlovu, Davet Muzvidwza and Herbert Zhou.

The GBAZ is affiliated to the Zimbabwe Herd Book (ZHB), where me, beers shall be subject to the rules and regulations of ZHB regarding registrations of pure bred livestock under the Pedigree Farm Livestock Act. This will protect breeders who oftentimes are made to buy animals that are purportedly stud or registered when they are not. The association works hand in glove with all government departments under the Ministry of Agriculture, like Research and Specialist Services,

Veterinary Services, Livestock Development Programme, Command Agriculture etc. Also partnered to the association are the Namibia Boer Goat Society and the South African Boer Goat Association.

OVERVIEW OF THE INDUSTRY

There is an insatiable demand for goat meat locally. Production is currently at par with consumption, and with 95% of 3.8 million goats being owned by small holder farmers. However, there is a lack of growth due to a lack of structure, inefficiency and lack of economies of scale to commercialise goat breeding. As demands are not being met for both breeding stock and meat, the scope for

commercialisation locally are huge.

CHALLENGES

The association plans to tackle the following challenges head on:

inbreeding; high mortality rate; lack of technical training and expertise; lack of access to breeds that improve quality and quantity; unstructured marketing; low commercialisation and lack of value chain integration; poor networking and institutional framework.

ROLE OF ASSOCIATION

GBAZ plans to disseminate relevant and crucial sector information to its members; to lobby government; to hold appropriate and relevant meetings training and field and demo days; to promote value chain integration on facilitation and market linkages. The association plans to have a

presence at expos and shows. It will have clubs and chapters at province and district levels and will create an online presence with a website, newsletters and have social media platforms.

Commercial Goat breeding in Zimbabwe has huge potential for development for both large and small scale commercial farmers as goats are low management; they are resilient prolific breeders and only small sizes of land are needed. There are good financial returns to be had if managed well.

For more information, contact:

info@gbaz.org.zw, or visit their website www.gbaz.org.zw; tel 04-756600.