Goat Farming, a Great Source of Income
Goat breeding is gaining prominence in the country due to a decline in the grazing area and natural resources, said Dr D Swaroop, Director, and Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG). Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day conference on goats called GOATTERY-2012, organized by the websites http://www.indianlivestockfarms.com in Coimbatore, Dr Swaroop said the central and state government have realised the importance of goats and have formulated various policy measures to implement the breeding of the animal in rural areas to help poor and needy people.
Dr Swaroop said that more than 20 million households in India earn their livelihood by maintaining goats. “Maintaining cow and buffaloes is more expensive; moreover, people do not have land for grazing, for accommodating and taking care of them, which makes goat a viable animal to breed,” said the doctor.
According to Dr Swaroop, there are 23 described native breeds of goats and another 8 non-described, which adapt to different climatic and geographic conditions. Breeding goats has many advantages, he says. Unlike other bigger livestock, goats can be maintained easily in small spaces and can be maintained by youth as well as senior citizens. Goat milk has medicinal value and therefore it has become a great source of income for goat breeders. “One goat can fetch Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 without much inputs and the net profit can be anywhere between 15 to 20 per cent,” Dr Swaroop affirmed.
Goat breeding is popular in places like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other north Indian states. With increasing awareness, people in south are also moving towards goat breeding with state government support. However, more scientific awareness is required to breed these animals which would benefit the poor, Dr Swaroop said.
On the research front Dr Swaroop said CIRG is carrying out extensive work to provide an animal, which has good body weight and high milk production when compared to the native population.
Government of India under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has formed All India Coordinated Research Project on goat improvement, which has 14 research units covering 12 breeds of the country. The project is also working on developing value added products like new goat meat and milk products. CIRG is focusing on artificial insemination of goats for multiplying the population, which is under trial and at some places is already practiced. With success the central government is also trying to bring the goat farming as a mission to elevate the poverty, which would soon be a reality, he added.
Check out http://www.cirg.res.in for more details